Gift ideas for the Valentine’s Day shopper

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine’s Day flowers for men — who would have thought? Apparently a lot more women than one might imagine, according to Fred’s Flower & Gift Shop owner Fred Williams.

The thought of women getting all gushy over candy, roses and a stuffed animals is typical this time of year. But Fred’s message is don’t forget the men.

“Men like flowers just like women,” Williams said. “The problem with some men is they don’t think it’s macho, but women come in to buy flowers or balloons.”

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OK, so maybe you know your man well enough to realize a bouquet or a heart-shaped box of sugary goodies won’t do the trick on Saturday.

But Fred’s still has an answer. Gift baskets with everything from grape juice to canned meat line the shelves in the store. Prices for baskets range from $39 to $150.

The guys or gals that want to express their feelings more modestly can buy single roses, bud vases and other gifts for less than $20.

Deliveryman Frank King will handle 50-60 orders by himself on Valentine’s Day.

“I enjoy it because I enjoy making people smile,” King said. “When they see me coming they know it’s something good. Everybody knows Frank.”

Because of the holiday, the store will stay open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead of its normal Saturday hours of 9-1.

Williams said the most important thing is to plan ahead. “If they make an order at 10, there’s no way humanly possible we can get it out by 12.”

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a gift for him, from him.

Selma is bereft of a Victoria’s Secret, but Belk and J.C. Penney offer a range of undergarment choices.

“We have a wide variety of bras, but no intimate wear,” said Susan Hughes, a visual merchandiser at Belk. “Most of the stuff navigates toward comfort.”

Belk may not have frilly negligees or teddies, but the store offers a number of thongs, hipsters, robes, satin pajamas and mix-n-match options to accommodate almost every taste.

Like Belk, most of J.C. Penney’s intimate wear collection is geared toward comfort. But that’s not to say the store does not have a few more risqué items. Topping the list of true intimate wear are baby doll gowns (on sale for $17.99), kimonos ($12.99 to $15.99) and chemises.

“We are offering 40 to 50 percent off on a lot of lingerie through Saturday,” said Selma J.C. Penney manager Donna Brown.

Butler Truax may be able to lend a helping hand to those searching for a shiny way to say, “I love you.” The jeweler is offering a Valentine’s Day special for any purchase of $49 or more. Each package includes a box of Gantt candy, silk rose, card and tote bag. The jeweler also offers a myriad of options to fit any budget.

A set of sterling silver pearl earrings costs $19.95. A string of freshwater pearls — in brown, grey, black or white — can be purchased for $125. Watches range from a Fossil with a leather strap ($65) to a diamond-laden Citizen watch ($375).

A journey pendant — a set of diamonds set in curved pattern — runs between $369 and $1,500.

“It starts with a small stone and gets bigger because love only grows,” said Cheryl Watts, a sales associate. “It is designed with a little crook in it, because the journey is never straight.”

A large Valentine’s Day display sat strategically just inside the door of Tutu’s. Ceramic picture frames, cotton shirts adorned with pink hearts and silver jewelry practically spilled over the edge of the white table.

A decorative iron flower with painted petals that reads, “He loves me, He loves me not” is available for $18. Going a bit pricier, a white, long-sleeved nightshirt with pink polka dots is $90.

While Valentine’s Day looms, owner Jule Burns said it is not too late just yet to find the perfect gift.

“They better get on it,” she said. “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”