Colourful like chalk, only it doesn’t taste as good.

Have a girlfriend/boyfriend and don’t know what to buy for them?

Have that special someone you want to woo, but unsure how to do it?

Are you depressingly single and long for the warmth of another?

Some people fall for the illusion that the best gift idea includes something heart-shaped, something pink, or something plastered in “I love you!” stickers. But not so. Ever since V-Day became commercialized in the UK in the early 19th century through the production of paper valentines, people have been rushing to stores and buying items high in commercial value, but low in sentimental and practical value.

Here’s some advice on what to buy, or not to buy, this Valentine’s Day.

First, you always want to put together a multi-layer gift. Multi-layer gifts take a bit longer to plan and the end product shows that you’ve put some time and effort into it. Now, when I say “multi-layer”, I don’t mean buying a dozen roses (which is both lame and cliché). I mean that there should be multiple dimensions to the gift.

The first dimension should consist of something practical, something they can use. For instance, if your loved one spends most of their time reading, buy them a book; if they game, buy them a video game (if you know what they like); and so on. This will give the illusion that you are interested in their pastimes.

The second dimension should consist of something edible. Everyone is in love wih food on some level and moreover, since this is a student paper, students always enjoy the concept of free food. Find out what their favourite candy is and buy a box/bag of it. But make sure you don’t slip into the mainstream cinnamon hearts or those chalky heart things.

The third dimension consists of something they can use for their house/room, something ornamental. Depending on their interests, you may opt for a stuffed animal, or even a nice picture or something like that. For instance, if your loved one is big into dogs, buy them a little stuffed dog, or even a picture of a dog, or better yet, sponsor one of those “at risk” dogs in an animal shelter on their behalf. This shows that you both understand and are involved with their own thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

The fourth and final dimension should consist of something purely sentimental. This should be something minute, so much so that presenting it in a new way would create a “Wow!” effect. For instance, framing a movie stub from your first date with your loved one. Things like this show that you haven’t forgotten that first feeling, and they will truly appreciate the fact that you never forgot.

If you incorporate all four aspects of the perfect V-Day gift, then you will have yourself one successful present. Remember: it’s not always about what you give, but how you give it, and how you came across it.


Have yourselves a wonderful Valentine’s Day!