Think outside the (chocolate) box for unique Valentine's Day gifts | February 3, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - February 3, 2012

Think outside the (chocolate) box for unique Valentine's Day gifts

Buying the standard bouquet or box of candy for the love of your life doesn't show you've put much thought into the sentiment. In fact, if your valentine is like many others, they are just six weeks into the new year that likely began with all sorts of promises to get fit or lose a few pounds. Will chocolate really say "I love you?" Will flowers convey your devotion?

Instead, consider a gift that not only comes from the heart but benefits the heart. Here are better options for Valentine's Day when you want to say:

"You are adored." There is nothing like a spa treatment to put your loved one on a pedestal. "A facial or massage is the gift of relaxation and self-care," says Kate Rice, a massage therapist and national massage educator. She says a gift certificate can be part of a bigger pampering day - perhaps along with breakfast in bed or an end-of-day bubble bath. "People tend to think of massage as a luxury, but it's therapeutic and can help 'reground' them. It's also the perfect gift for someone who does so much for everyone else."

"We're in this together; we're a team." Working together on a common goal can make lasting memories. Signing up you and your valentine for a 5K, 10K, triathlon or other physical event can create memories to last a lifetime. That's how 29-year-old Michael Lorenzen ended up registered for his first ultra-distance triathlon. "My wonderful girlfriend, Brigit, gifted me a 2012 entry into a triathlon." He says his initial reaction was irritation, followed quickly by panic, which soon transpired into gratitude. "She did it because she knew I'd never sign up myself. I've never done an ultra-distance triathlon. I know I can, but committing to doing it is a big deal to me." The gift, he says, showed him that she believes in him. It's hard to get more romantic than that.

"I want you in my life forever." The vow is "in sickness or in health," but we'd all prefer good health. If your special someone knows they need to get fit or stay fit, they might need more than a gentle nudge. Hiring a personal trainer - for a private session or for the two of you - is a way to show your commitment to life and to each other.

Resist the urge to go the traditional (and unimaginative) route this Valentine's Day. Think of your gift ideas with health in mind to make your love last.

--ARA Content