By Haddon Libby

People will spend on average $130 for Valentine’s Day with nearly one quarter of a billion roses given away.  Two-thirds of all men will have given their partner’s roses while one-third of women will give their partner flowers. 

Americans will spend nearly $20 billion on the Lover’s Holiday, with $4.5 billion spent on jewelry, $2 billion on flowers and $2 billion on candy.   Six million people expect a marriage proposal this week while 85% of all people in relationships expect sex. 

While flowers, chocolates, jewelry and romantic dinners are the easy go to gifts, recently completed a survey that found that 42% of all people would prefer to receive a vacation. 


If your partner seems to have everything, consider giving a donation to their favorite charity or cause in their name. has a fun idea – a jar of 31 personalized notes for your one true love. 

If you want to stay on good terms with your partner, stay away from these gifts:

Unless you are buying this for yourself, stay away from costume jewelry.  That includes cubic zirconia and imitation pearls.  Sean Grew of says that “the worst Valentine’s gifts are cheap, terrible-looking knock-off gifts.”

Along those lines, stay away from novelty gifts of all kinds.  Freelance writer Jill Harness recommends strongly against buying Art de Toilette’s Chocolate Scale which is a scale packaged with chocolates.  She also dislikes the Wrinkle Reducing Pillow, because few of us want to be reminded that we are adding wrinkles as we sleep.  Brief Jerky Edible Meat Underwear is another gift that shows you are not exactly romantic.

Quentin Fottrell, author of Love in a Damp Climate, believes that appliances like vacuums and dust busters may lead to a house cleaning that includes you.  Even a Dyson vacuum is an idea that you should stay away from.

While gift cards might be a good gift for teenagers, if you are not in high school or at university, you can do better.  Howard Schaffer of says, “A gift card suggests that you didn’t spend the time to think about what he or she might want.”  Mark LoCastro of agrees, “Celebrating Valentine’s Day seems pretty lame if all you’re going to do is give your significant other money.”

While most of these bad ideas sound like things that a guy might do, women can give bad gifts too.  A mug with a fake engagement ring built in is not likely to make him want to buy you the real thing anytime soon.  The halitosis Kiss-O-Meter might be a great device for reminding your lover to clean their breath but it is just as likely to make them feel insecure and less likely to be romantic with you…which might be a good thing if his breath is that bad.

Now if you have reached the point in your relationship where you are about to call it quits, there are a few very funny ways to say it:

Is your partner sucking the life blood out of you?  What about blood vial earrings?

Does your partner feel holier than thou?  How about a digital bible USB pendant?

Is your partner catty?  Cat claw rings for all ten fingers could be the way to go.

edible-choco-anusFor $40, will mold five boxes of chocolate anus candies using you’re a**hole as the prototype.

For your pet, go to and for about $100 get a collar that tracks your pet with your smartphone if they get lost. 

Haddon Libby is an Investment Advisor and Managing Partner at Winslow Drake Investment Management and can be reached at 760.449.6349 or