(BPT) - Americans spent more than $13 billion on Valentine's Day gifts last year. Sixty-four percent of men gave their significant other flowers and a card, and took them out to dinner, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association.
Valentine's Day is full of expectations, so how do you show your unique appreciation and love by doing the same thing everybody else does on that same exact day?
The answer: You don't.
People associate Valentine's Day with love and romance but you don't have to limit the experience to just that one day. With a little thought, you can show you care all throughout the year. Here are some ideas.
Engrave your love
Make the romance last with a gift of engraved jewelry this Valentine's Day, says Amy Myers, vice president of creative services at Things Remembered.
"When you give engraved jewelry, you give a memory,' says Myers. 'You can tell her how much you love her smile and how much she means to you today and every day. She will think of you every time she wears it, so the feeling and the meaning behind your gift lasts long past Feb.14.'
Things Remembered also offers engraved jewelry and accessories for men, including dog tag necklaces, wallets, ID bracelets, key chains, watches and pocket knives.
'You can create a really unique and special gift for the man in your life that he can wear under his shirt or on his wrist without getting a ribbing from the guys,' Myers says. 'We can engrave your message for him so only he can see it.'
Things Remembered also offers a buy online and pick up in store option so you can order that necklace or bracelet on the sly. Visit www.thingsremembered.com.
A poet and you didn't know it
Wow her with an amazing poem from your heart. If you're not the modern day version of E.E. Cummings, don't worry. Consider printing out the lyrics to 'your' song or perhaps a few lines from her favorite romantic movie that convey your love.
Frame the poem or printed lyrics for her nightstand or desk so that she may be reminded of the love you share. And, of course, to prevent those special words from getting shoved in a drawer or taped into a scrapbook like the 151 million greeting cards that are exchanged for Valentine's Day each year.
Love in bloom
More than 51 percent of people will buy red roses for Valentine's Day but let's face it - flowers wilt. How does a guy who can't remember that thing about the toilet seat remember to send flowers 'just because' after Valentine's Day?
The answer is as simple as your local florist. Most florists will take payment in advance for planned bouquet deliveries so you can set up fresh flower gifts every month throughout the year while only actually thinking about it once a year.
It's one thing to be romantic one day of the year but true romance stands the test of time. Keep the passion alive and give a lasting spark to your relationship long after the Valentine's Day chocolates are gone.