Valentine’s Grocery Gifts

Author Brett McInelly came up with some ideas that can picked up at the last second, but still look like a real gift.


Themed Gift Bag:

The key with the bag is actually the presentation, even more so than the contents, and this where men have to suck up their pride a bit and set aside their masculinity. Not only do they have to purchase one of those specialty or designer gift bags, but they have to purchase the frilly tissue that goes in it. And if that isn’t bad enough, they have to arrange the items and the tissue in the bag in a decorative and presentable way. Most women probably have a hard time imagining their husbands bent over a gift back and delicately trying to arrange tissue paper, and if they can imagine this, they probably can’t do so without laughing. The good news for men is, even if their efforts produce a clumsily arranged bag, they’ll win points for the attempt and more points if they’ve wisely selected the contents of the bag. Selecting items according to a theme rather than a random selection of items, again, sends the message that some thought went into the planning of the gift.

Garbage Bin and a Movie:

This gift includes microwave popcorn, two sodas, a box of red vines, a box of junior mints, and a proven chick-flick on DVD, all neatly arranged in a plastic trash bin. (The trash bin is the closest thing I could find to a popcorn bowl in the grocery store.) Here again, though, the presentation is vital, since giving one’s wife a trash bin for Valentine’s doesn’t seem an especially good idea, even if it includes the other items I’ve mentioned. The key is in the packaging, and here is where the frilly tissue comes in handy. With tissue used to spruce up the bucket, most women will think, “Wow, how cute and clever” rather than, “Wow, I just got a garbage can for Valentine’s.” The gift also tells the wife that her husband is willing to sit and enjoy a movie more suited to her tastes than his. Something like Pride and Prejudice would be a huge sacrifice for most men, and this might win some points with the wife.

Valentine Card with a Twist:

Merely giving one’s wife a store-bought greeting card on Valentine’s probably isn’t enough, even if the card oozes with sentiment and love. But if you put a few gift cards in the greeting card, perhaps one for a favorite restaurant and one for the movies, you’ve suddenly increased the value of the card. Most groceries stores include a rack with a range of gift cards for restaurants, stores, movies, and other places. The greeting card provides the packaging and the gift card makes the greeting card worth getting—in case words aren’t enough. My wife always says, “Talk is cheap.”


Brett is the author of the book, “Men and the Art of Marriage Maintenance”. It is published by Cedar Fort ( and if you can’t find it at your local bookstore, you can use this link to find out more information about it:

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