Flowers and chocolates are great ideas for Valentine’s Day but shopping local can offer so much more

By Nadia Moharib and Krista Sylvester

By Calgary Citizen Staff | February 11, 2022 |5:00 am

Small businesses such as Inglewood's Plant are a great place to shop when it comes to buying unique gifts for loved ones.

Photo: Ashlea Fauteux

Kind of like exchanging rings at a wedding, tradition is a thing on Valentine’s Day. And as such, there is nothing wrong with showing up with red roses and chocolates. 

According to relationship expert, Lee Wilson, that classic combination will hit the sweet spot with most romantic partners on the day of love — but save the creativity for another day. 

On Valentine’s Day, there’s no need to get fancy. Instead, Lee says, you should do just fine if you tap into tried and true traditions to get the lovey-dovey vibes going. 

“If we are just being traditional, most women appreciate it if you show up with a plan. They kinda feel like you don’t care if you don’t have a plan,” Wilson says. 

“For Valentine’s Day, it’s really difficult to beat a dozen roses. I understand you want to be creative but at the same time, if you have a special holiday, traditions mean something. It does seem cliche but you will not hurt yourself if you get a dozen roses and some chocolates.”

It’s all about getting creative 

This kind of doting isn’t just for the ladies. And if you are among those who boycott Valentine’s Day, we get it. Wilson says planning typically sits pretty as a way to show you care. 

“One of the best gifts you can give is where you make plans for the other person with them in mind,” he says. “Putting some forethought into it is something people really appreciate… that’s a gift.”

And don’t underestimate the magic behind a handwritten note or carefully chosen card — something for their eyes only. 

“A handwritten note tells someone what they mean to you. It also makes it a matter of record, something you can look at over and over again,” he says, adding it needs to say more than just “Have a good day.”

“But, ‘I want you to know you mean everything to me and I can’t imagine my life without you, I love you, I would be miserable without you,’ that is something they would read more than once.”

Why supporting local is a win-win 

Holidays and special events such as Valentine’s Day are the perfect opportunities to think outside the box of chocolates and find that special something for your loved ones, says Jenna Walsh, Be Local social business coordinator. 

“Local businesses can definitely add the personal touches and customizations that you’re just not going to get with the big box stores,” Walsh says. 

Supporting local businesses is a win-win situation, she adds. 

“There’s a lot of reasons that it’s important to shop locally, one of them being that those small businesses typically create more local jobs than multinational corporations,” Walsh says. 

“For every $10 million in revenue on average, small businesses create 86 more jobs than Amazon and those bigger companies. Shopping local also means that more money is being given back to local non-profits.” 

Check out the Be Local Valentine’s collection 

When it comes to Valentine’s Day shopping, Walsh says it would be great if people choose to look beyond big box stores and support local. 

Be Local is a network of over 350 community-focused businesses and offers an online marketplace for Albertans to shop locally. 

“Right now we have a Valentine’s Day collection that’s made up of various Calgary products ranging from the more classic Valentine’s Day gifts, from candles to chocolates, to the more unique gifts,” Walsh says, adding there is anything from cupcake flower bouquets to escape games for a cool date night at home. 

“There’s also curated kits loaded with unique products with personal touches and customizations that you’re just not going to find in big box stores.” 

Check out the Be Local gift guide. 

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