Editor's Note: This article originally ran last February, but we're featuring it again today because Valentine's Day is—gulp—tomorrow! Store hours have all been updated from last year.
Hi. My name is Rachel and I am a procrastinator.
It's hard for me to admit that because I prefer to describe myself as a perfectionist, who happens to be unorganized and indecisive as well. But, this does make it challenging to cross things off my to-do list, which, you know, can ultimately lead to being labeled with that first P-word.
Well, I don't need to defend myself here, I just wanted to let you know that I understand. I've been there. We are one in the same, you and I. Hey, it's Feb. 13 and you are reading this column, aren't you? Unless the dog ate your Valentine's gift...
Well, get Fido to the E.R. ASAP so you can go shopping! But, don't go to the drugstore for a cheap heart-shaped box of chocolates and silk rose combo just yet. There are still plenty of viable gift options that say, "I love you, and I selected this gift weeks ago."
Let's get to it:
- It's OK to go classic. Flowers and chocolate are nothing to scoff at. They're traditional for a reason. They work. But, feel free to stray from standard red roses. Pick a potted orchid that will last year after year, a basket of spray roses that can be planted in the yard come May, or a spring-y bouquet of tulips. offers online orders and same-day delivery. And I've had great luck with long lasting roses from , open today until 8:30 p.m. For the sweets, head over to (open until 7 p.m. today) to select a box of chocolates that are special-occasion sweet—we're talking truffles stuffed with grapefruit pulp or peanut butter and jelly. Tip: While at the flower or candy shops, think about sending something over to your mom or grandmother, too!
- For the adventurer, offer your sweetheart a date he or she will never forget—a tour of the skies. Minnesota Helicopters, Inc., offers romantic flight tours of the Twin Cities or Lake Minnetonka, among other attractions. Now this isn't something that you are going to be able to schedule for Valentine's Day, but you can draft a gift certificate for use when the snow melts. Tours start at about $500. Hours vary; contact 763-780-2366 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lavish your special someone with the gift of spa service. Neva Massage Center allows gift-givers to buy certificates for specific services—like a hot stone massage or a lavender milk facial, for example—or simply a certificate for a certain dollar amount so that your Valentine can choose his or her own method of pampering. For a more personal gift, select the service yourself. If you're not sure what they'd enjoy, do leave it up to them. Open until 8 p.m. today
- Simple gifts are often the best gifts. Oh, what I wouldn't do for a can of paint this Valentine's Day. That's to say if my fiance brought home a can of Sherman Williams' Comfortable Cream on the 14th, along with his sincerest intentions to paint the living room this week, I'd be floored. So, head over to or to get the essentials and fix whatever your Valentine has been asking for. If you can't do the actual work on V-Day, put a ribbon on the tools with a card noting when the work will be done. Treat the card like a contract: If you don't follow through, this could quickly go down as the worst gift ever. Tip: This goes well with flowers.
- Just because you ran out of time to plan a Valentine's jaunt to Paris doesn't mean you still can't pull off a romantic trip for two. A future getaway weekend is sure to be well-received and not too hard on the pocketbook. Check coupon mongers like Groupon, Living Social and Crowd Cut for reasonable weekend packages.
- Reinvent dinner and a movie. When all else fails, you can always show someone you care by taking the time to cook them a thoughtful meal and letting them choose which movie to rent. If they like to cook as well, you can take it one step further by purchasing a cookbook to give them, from which you will craft the Valentine's meal.
I hope this list helped you out, or perhaps jogged your memory of something your significant other once mentioned they'd like. I have to tell you, the best Valentine's Day gift I ever got was a Big Mac cut into the shape of a heart. An acquaintance gave it to me after I told him I did not want to go on a date with him, but that we could grab dinner as friends sometime at McDonald's. We're getting married in April.