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Valentine's Day: When You Gotta Get a Gift

Valentine's Day. A time for love, a time for passion, a time for men to demonstrate their gift-giving ineptitude.

Hey, it’s not the easiest occasion to buy for. Take a minute to read this brief Valentine's Day survival guide and maybe she’ll actually mean it when she says, “I love you, too.”

Flower Power

Whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances, buy her a single red rose wrapped in cellophane with a sprig of baby’s breath. Just don’t do it. It’s cheap and it’s easy and that’s exactly how it will make her feel. It’s Valentine's Day — go for the full dozen.

Places like Whole Foods, Costco, even most major supermarkets offer roses at prices far lower than the florists.

Really want to impress her? Go for something completely different. She have a favorite flower? Get her a dozen of those. Orchids are beautiful, connote sensuality and will give her the impression that you used your imagination..

Other flowery ideas ...

— An orchid plant. Orchids are not hard to maintain and will remind her of you every time she waters it.

— Rose bush. If you’re in a temperate climate, this is the season for planting: buy her a rose bush and plant it for her. You’ll come off as thoughtful and rugged.

— Check out the “Designer Flowers” link on 1800flowers.com. The arrangements are beautiful and innovative. Have them delivered to her office.

Is Candy Dandy?

One word: Yes. As long as it’s chocolate. Here’s another word you should learn: Truffle. Forget the caramels, ganaches, creams, cherries and nuts and buy a box of truffles. Eschew the Whitman’s sampler or the Russell Stovers — you can get a box of Godiva truffles for as low as $25.

Williams-Sonoma has assorted boxes of Recchiuti Hand-Rolled Bittersweet truffles that start at $39 and go all the way up to $70. While you’re there, educate yourself on another sure-fire V-day winner: Chocolate fondue.

They have kits with the chocolate and little heart-shaped marshmallows or you can just get the chocolate fondue chips alone and buy some strawberries for dipping at the grocery store.

Macy’s has a fondue set for as low as $16.99 (on sale), Target has one at regular price for $29.99.

For guys spending their first Valentine's Day with a girl — if she finds out you have a fondue set, she will never, ever break up with you. Period.

Another fun way to share chocolate: The Jacques Torres Valentine Heart Kissing Game will get guarantee you at least one kiss. Check it out here.

Cuddly Teddy vs. Naughty Teddy

Guys, know this about stuffed animals: You give her just about anything and she’ll love it. Matter of fact, the uglier the better.

That said, Gund probably makes the most beautiful stuffed animals you can buy. They can be found at Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Hallmark stores.

Now, for the harder kind of teddy. When it comes to buying lingerie, there’s one rule to know that can guide you: Always buy one for her and one for you.

No, that doesn’t mean you have to put on a thong. It means if you get one nice, comfy thing that she’d wear for herself, she’s more apt to accept that skimpy, stringy thing that you want her to wear for you. She’ll appreciate and wear just about any kind of panty, from thong to G-string to boy short to good old-fashioned undies.

Silk pajamas are a good gift, as are robes and dressing gowns. Whatever you do, just don’t get anything edible: a.) they’re less fun that you’d think and b.) they’re barely edible.

Other Great Valentine's Day Ideas

A rock. If she's in love with you and you're still dating, an engagement ring is what she most likely wants. Or go for the diamond stud earrings or a diamond pendant necklace.

Redenvelope.com's Kama Sutra Pleasure Box is a classy bit of Eros (choose priority or Saturday delivery to get it there by Feb. 14).

Coach has a little heart key chain that might be the key to her heart.

Whatever you do this Valentine's Day, remember it’s a day when she really does expect something and therefore a day when you can get in real trouble. When it doubt, go overboard.