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Cute vs. commercial: Students prefer sentimental gifts

Regardless if you have a hidden love affair with Valentine’s Day or if you harbor a cynical hate towards it, the tradition is still inevitable. Allow it to be a good excuse to lavish your close friends or significant other with presents, chocolates, and cards.

But what to get them? Your gift options will be different depending on if you consider yourself “forever alone” or “in love.” Either way, don’t be afraid to go outside the box to save money and purchase something that would not necessarily be as expensive as a Tiffany’s necklace or a pair of Nike shoes for your loved ones.

In fact, out of 26 FGCU students polled on campus for a random survey, 77 percent said that they would rather have a sentimental gift than a nice one from the store. Cindy Orozco, a freshman living in South Village, commented, “What counts is that it came from the heart…. It’s the thought that counts.” So gentlemen, take a deep breath. Maybe the credit card bill won’t have to be as high as you expected. Women love to be lavished, but they also appreciate the thoughtful gifts. Showing someone you care about them does not always require spending a year’s worth of money.

For your friends, you can always make them food, write a song about the craziest moment you’ve had together, or get crafty for a poster or photo album. One successful present for Valentine’s Day was Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo. “I gave it to one of my best guys friends,” said Kylie Gouriluk, a senior majoring in hospitality management. “Every day for four years he would smell my hair because he loved it. During senior year I knew it was finally time for our relationship to take the next level — so I gave him some shampoo of his own!”

Shampoo may not be your gift of choice for a friend, so try anything that would remind them of a favorite song or memory you two have together. Heart-shaped cards and home-made goodies are a flawless alternative to expensive gifts, and prove that you appreciate your friend enough to take that time for them.

Be careful not to upset your friends with a gift, however. Lindsey P., an undeclared freshman, shared a story of how her high school boyfriend never did anything for her on Valentine’s Day. She got off the bus expecting him to be there but he was nowhere to be found. P. explained, “Upset and hurt, I came up my driveway and noticed there were chocolates, flowers, perfumes and a card on my doorstep. So relieved and happy, I opened the card and read: ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, he doesn’t care about you, but we sure do!’… signed by my high school friends.

Lindsey P. was beyond disappointment, and also mentioned that, “…It’s still true what they say: the truth hurts.” So, if you find yourself in a situation that requires a painful truth to be told, do it with as much grace as possible and be clear.
On a more positive note, a good way to win your Valentine’s heart is to take a clever, romantic approach. Kedar Johnson, a junior majoring in Health Science, took this humor-filled route with a little inspiration from Pinterest. Johnson said, “I got a clear paint can, put gummy worms in it, and wrote: I’m hooked on you.” This is an easy, cute gift that will make your Valentine’s heart beat fast!

Silly puns like “Bee Mine” and “You’re Sweet” written on cards are also cute and effective, while the classic flowers and chocolate work as well. Just remember, sometimes personal can be more meaningful than price. And as long as you show your significant other(s) that you care, Valentine’s Day should be sweet.

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