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You Got WHAT for Valentine's Day?
Contributor Two Contributor Two
Some people like to celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving gifts, to express feelings of love for a special person.  And while it’s always nice that someone thought to give us a gift, sometimes the gifts can be…er…not quite what we expected.

I decided to take a survey among my coworkers to see if they had ever received any funny or odd gifts for this holiday, and they enthusiastically (and emphatically, in some cases!) responded. Some of the unusual gifts in question were very much appreciated, while others were…well, appreciated might not be quite the word.  If you are shopping for that perfect gift for a loved one this year, this could give you some insight into what not to do! (Names have been withheld, to protect the aggravated innocent.)

Not surprisingly, useful household items were not always the most popular choice:

“Do not give a blender!”

“This did not happen to me, but to a friend of mine; her husband gave her a vacuum cleaner and she was heartbroken!”

And apparently the previous poor guy shared notes with this one…

“My sister got a vacuum one year and sneakers another year; I wouldn't prefer that myself, but her husband is practical!”

“A set of cookware."

“You may need an oven or washer and dryer for the house, but you don’t give your wife one for Valentine’s Day.”

Sometimes, gifts related to hobbies can be just the perfect thing for someone…and other times...well...not.

“I know a fellow in Anderson, S.C., who gave his wife a pair of work boots and knee pads for Valentine’s Day one year. Apparently she really liked to work out in the gardens / flowerbeds.  I’m just wondering how many nights he spent in the doghouse?”

From a female coworker...“A bowling ball, along with a thermos.”

There were also a few responses indicating that you may want to steer clear from items that could send a message like “Honey, I love you—almost just the way you are.”

“Soap! Bad idea to give soap on Valentine’s Day! (Don’t tell my wife.)”

“Electric hair trimmer for nose and ears — don’t give that!”

“A gift certificate to a weight loss clinic” – enough said!

And probably the worst “gift” of all:

"I had a breakup on Valentine’s Day of 1991 — that was bad!” Yes, indeed...

But there were a couple of very sweet stories about unique gifts that struck just the right chord:

“My 13-year-old son wanted to get his girlfriend a dozen roses.  I thought that was too extravagant for a 13-year-old.  I suggested he get one or two roses from Kroger. He said absolutely not; he wasn’t giving roses with the cost cutter scissors on the card.  I then said, ‘Do you know if this girl even likes flowers? I personally prefer a shrub for the yard.’ Apparently, my husband was listening, because on Valentine's Day — when everyone was receiving cut flowers — I received a six-foot burlap balled pine tree delivered to the office lobby with a note that said,‘Would you be my ValenPine?’ I thought that was very creative. I also had to get creative to get it home in a Honda Accord!”

And finally…

“A little over 15 years ago, my husband and I purchased our first house. It backed up to Corps of Engineer property, which jutted out into Percy Priest Lake in the Nashville area. I loved walking down to the stony shoreline with our new golden retriever puppy! Oftentimes I could see movement on the distant shores (animals as well as large birds) but could not see them clearly. All I wanted for Valentine’s Day that year was a pair of binoculars. My husband was most gracious and accommodated my request. I was thrilled! I immediately started to enjoy watching the white-tailed deer and sandhill cranes from a distance.

Several days later, we had dinner with three other couples who were acquaintances at the time. The women were outdoing each other with their Valentine’s-Day-gifts-of-jewelry stories. Then came my turn. With unharnessed excitement I started telling them about my brand new binoculars. They looked at me as though I had seven heads! Needless to say I remained quiet the rest of the evening.

That was the best Valentine’s Day gift I had ever received. And you know what? I have a feeling that through the years, those women have been upgrading their jewelry to bigger and better gems and stones. And though we are no longer in the house at the lake, I still have my little binoculars. The case may be dusty, but every once and a while I take them out…and remember that day with fondness.”

And that’s what it’s all about, folks.  May your Valentine’s Day be blessed, and let’s all try to appreciate our loved ones during this time, no matter how well (or how awkwardly) they try to express their love to us. It is, after all, the thought that counts. Feel free to leave us a comment describing an unusual Valentine's Day gift you have received!