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Five thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifts for the special guy in your life

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

With February just around the corner, I wanted to share some thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the guy in your life — whether it’s a boyfriend, a fiancé, or husband.

When my husband and I first started dating, I struggled with what to buy him for Valentine’s Day. Not only is my husband incredibly difficult to buy for — and most men are — but it’s hard to find something that says, “I love you,” that isn’t corny or useless (inevitably landing itself in the donation pile by the end of the year.)

I aim to find a gift that is practical, personal, and sentimental.

And since I am a gift-giving addict, I usually end up getting two to three gifts for my husband on Valentine’s Day! There is usually one gift that is strictly practical and of need (new shoes, socks, a tool he’s been wanting, etc.) Then there is usually a gift or two that is practical, but will also tug at his heart strings just enough (the gifts you will find in this list.)

1. Personalized cuff links and/or tie bar

So this one only works if your guy actually wears these things. And I would recommend only pursuing this gift idea if he wears them regularly or at least semi-regularly (not just for weddings and the occasional fancy work dinner).

If he will not get much use out of them, the practicality of the gift vanishes completely. Nobody likes to give a gift that will sit and gather dust 360 days out of the year.

I bought personalized cuff links for my husband for our first Valentine’s Day together.

He absolutely loves them.

The fun part is designing them! There are so many sites that sell personalized cuff links! You could even do a quick Etsy search and find several shops that offer different options.

I personally used Paper Anniversary because they offered the kind of personalization I was looking for. My husband is a very simple dresser — he doesn’t wear anything flashy and rarely deviates from his blues, whites, and greys. The cuff links (and tie bar) offered on this site were a silver metal with the option to personalize using words (black ink on a white background).

This kind of personalization gives you so many options! If you and your guy have a favorite song (and if you’re married, maybe the one you danced to at your wedding) — you could put a line or two of that song on the cuff links. If you and your guy have a cute phrase you say to one another often — go with that. If your guy has his own favorite motto for life — there you go! I chose to put a line from my husband’s favorite verse from the Bible.

Here is a photo of my husband’s cuff links:

”they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary.”

Make sure you keep your guy in mind when picking out exactly what kind of cuff links or tie bar you are going to personalize. The thought of the gift makes it sentimental, but the style you choose (that you want to match his) makes it personal.

2. Something for the wall

I love decor.

I am always rearranging things in our house and adding new items to our walls and shelves. I especially adore decor that is sentimental and personal to our family.

In our family room you will find a wall made up of different sized frames that contain photos of our family.

In my daughters room, you will find frames filled with photos of her over the months, vases of flowers I arranged myself, and even a floral mobile I made when I was pregnant with her.

And in our master bedroom, you will find decor that speaks about our marriage. Some of it is simply cutesy signs I have grabbed from HomeGoods or the dollar spot at Target, adorned with sayings like, “you belong with me” and “I belong with you.”

Others, however, have a more personal and sentimental value. For example, my favorite piece of decor in our bedroom is a large, weathered-grey frame. Inside the frame are the lyrics to the song my husband sang to me at our wedding.

We love reminiscing about our wedding. And I specifically enjoy talking about that very special moment. I had no idea my husband planned to sing to me! He had privately arranged the whole ordeal with the musicians we hired, met to practice with them behind my back, and even had a microphone set up and ready to go on the big day.

Gush. What. A. Guy.

Whenever I hear that specific song, or read the lyrics in the frame, I think of that day — that moment — and beam. And so does my husband.

So, when I had these lyrics printed out (through a shop on Etsy) and framed for a gift for my husband, he LOVED it. Even though they are just words in a frame, they are special to us.

And unless anything happens to that frame, it will not be leaving our bedroom wall. Talk about a practical, personal, and sentimental gift. Here is a photo:

Lyrics to “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West

I’ve actually used this gift idea multiple times in our relationship. Another wall decor item I purchased for my husband as a Valentine’s Day gift was a canvas painting a local painter did of one of our wedding photos. We had the colors muted to match the color scheme of our house, and it turned out wonderfully! Here is a photo of it:

The third wall decor item I bought for my husband as a gift was actually a Christmas gift (but could totally work for any occasion). I had a friend of mine do a water color painting on thick paper of a photo I took of my husband and daughter holding hands in the park. We plan to frame it and hang it in his office as soon as we find a frame we like. Here is a photo:

Clearly this gift idea is a favorite of mine! I love it because even when you use this idea more than once, each gift is totally unique.

Is there something your guy would love to look at everyday? Whether it’s in your shared home or in his own place? Something that would be personal to him, but also tasteful and practical?

It could be as simple as a framed photo of the two of you from a favorite date, the day you became engaged, or your wedding day. Maybe there is a saying you both love and would like to have custom-made for your house.

3. DIY coupon booklet

This one is an oldie, but a goodie! If you have never heard of this gift idea — you’ve been out of the loop, my friend. This idea has been around for awhile, and it is definitely a tried and true FAV.

Creating your own “coupon” booklet for your guy is not only practical, personal, and sentimental — it essentially costs nothing. Unless you are void of basic craft supplies and need to do a quick Micheal’s trip, this gift will keep your pockets full, ladies!

This gift is also SUPER versatile. No matter what stage you’re at in your relationship — you can do this! You create the “coupons,” so you don’t have to worry about some of them not being appropriate for your relationship stage.

And since you’re making them yourself, you can make them to fit your guy’s personality, too. Get creative, girl! This one is so fun.

When I created a coupon booklet for my husband for our second Valentine’s Day (our first as a married couple), I had a blast brainstorming ideas for the coupons. Some were funny, some were sexy, and some were simply practical! Here are some of the ones I used:

“Good for one movie night — your pick!” — This one was practical and funny. My husband and I do not have the same movie interests, so giving him a free-pass to choose a movie without the option for me to veto (which I often do) was a perfect way to say “I love you.”

“Good for one ‘whatever you want’ for dinner!” — In our marriage, I primarily cook dinner. Which means I typically handle the grocery list and create the menu for the week. Sometimes I consult with my husband for ideas, but most of the time I choose what we eat. This coupon allowed my husband to choose a dinner (even if it isn’t one I like all that much) for me to make for him — no strings (or whining) attached!

“Good for one bedroom favor of your choosing” — Now this is where it gets spicy. This is one you’ll probably want to skip if you are not yet married. But if you are married to your guy — this one is fun and sexy! When he cashes in this coupon, your guy will get to choose what your sexy-time will look like that evening and I guarantee you it is all he will be thinking about the rest of the day! This coupon can also help liven things up in your sex life if you and your spouse are currently in a sex slump (like after having kids).

So those are just some examples of coupons I used for my booklet, but there are so many!

If your guy likes to golf, but doesn’t get out on the green as much as he would like, you could give him a free pass to golf all day one Saturday.

If your guy has a group of friends he doesn’t meet up with a lot, you could give him a ‘guys night out’ coupon and even offer to be his DD to and from the hangout spot!

If he enjoys massages, make a ‘good for one back/foot/shoulder massage’ coupon!

The ideas are endless — and you know your guy best! You cannot lose with this gift idea.

4. A little book of “thank-you’s”

This is another DIY gift that essentially costs $0. And let me tell you this up front — it is a tear-jerker!

My husband absolutely lost his mind when I gave him this gift.

In the good way.

His love language is Words of Affirmation, and he specifically enjoys receiving words of appreciation and gratitude, so I knew this gift would pull on his heart strings just the right amount!

Basically, this gift idea is exactly what the headline says — a little book of “thank-you’s.” It is simple, yet incredibly thoughtful, personal, and sentimental. It isn’t what you would generally call “practical,” but it is so freaking adorable that there is an exception here — and I promise it will never end up in the trash bin!

First, get a notebook if you do not have a blank one already. I think the pocket-sized ones work the best for this gift idea, but you can use any size really. I found a pack of three pocket-size ones at Target for less than $8.

Next, if the front is boring — decorate it! Write a cute saying on it or title it something adorable. I also used the first page as a “dedication page.” I wrote something like, “to my husband — thank you for all you do.”

Third, decide on what kind of “thank-you’s” you want to write.

I planned this gift a year in advance, so I did a specific “thank-you” for each day. It was usually something my husband went out of his way to do that day or something he did/said that made my day better. Some of them were just general statements, too. Like, “thank you for being a wonderful father and husband.”

If you’re crunched for time — don’t worry — you do NOT need to do 365 “thank-you’s” over the course of an entire year. You can just pick a number (ten, twenty-five, fifty, one-hundred, etc.) and write that many “thank-you’s” for your guy. You can make simple statements for each one or even write out a full page or two on why you are thankful for each thing you list out.

And don’t forget to make it your own! Decorate the pages, draw pictures (even if they’re no good), and put some love into it!

I promise your guy will think it is the most thoughtful thing ever. My husband keeps his little book of “thank-you’s” in his desk at work. He will pull it out and read some of it every few days and is always telling me how much it makes him smile to read them.

5. Create a date he would love

This one seems pretty simple — because it is. How often are we ladies the one who organize and plan a date with our guy? I am sure there are a few women who do take charge in the date-planning arena, but I’m willing to bet that more often than not it’s the men who are leading here — or that both are kind of winging-it.

Either way, I promise your guy will absolutely appreciate you taking the time and effort to plan out an entire date he would enjoy.

Now, don’t freak out if you have already planned a V-Day date with your guy or you have a V-Day tradition already — you don’t have to go out on this date for Valentine’s Day. I would personally recommend saving it for the future and instead gift your guy with an itinerary of the planned date. This way, you can choose a date that works for what you want to do for the date and you aren’t facing the Valentine’s Day crowds, either.

The best way to plan this gift is to do it with one thing in mind — him. While brainstorming, consider the following questions:

What does he like to do?

What does he like to eat?

Is there something he always asks you to do, but you never do out of lack of interest?

Is there something he has always wanted to do, but hasn’t?

Do you have a budget?

How much do you want to travel for this date?

Then jot down a bunch of random ideas of places to go, things to do, and foods to eat. They don’t all have to make the cut — but it will help get you started!

Decide how long you want the date to be. That should give you a good idea of how many things to include on your itinerary.

Also, decide on a budget. Don’t worry if you’re strapped for cash, there are plenty of things you can do for cheap or for no money at all. For example, a picnic at your favorite park, beach, or lake only costs whatever you spend on groceries. And a night of competitive gaming in your home (board games, video games, or card games) is completely free of charge.

Next — start planning!

Be sure to make reservations at any restaurants or activities that require you to do so ahead of time just to be sure you don’t forget to do so later (you can always cancel or change them if you need to). Also, if your date includes any interesting items you have to purchase (like a new fishing lure if you’re taking him fishing), consider buying those ahead of time to include with your itinerary as his gift!

You can be so creative with this idea and cater exactly to your guy’s personality!

I hope these five ideas sparked some creativity in your gift planning for this Valentine’s Day. If they did, I would love to hear about it! Post in the comments what you are planning to do for your special guy this V-Day and include pictures of your ideas if you have some, too!

Also, if you have your own thoughtful gift idea that isn’t in this list — share it with me in the comments. I would love to read about it and add it to my repitoire of gift ideas!

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

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