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Score the Perfect Gift for Your Sweetheart

Three Valentine's Day pros in Needham offer their tips for making it a happy holiday.

If you haven’t been paying attention to all the red and pink window displays, the shiny paper hearts taped to walls around town or the rush of advertisements encouraging you to “buy your sweetheart something special,” here’s a reminder: Valentine’s Day is just a few days away.

The candy-colored holiday with its longstanding tradition of showing the ones you love just how much you love them falls on a Tuesday this week (and a half day of school for the young ones in Needham), and that means those still looking for that perfect gift by Feb. 14 have limited shopping opportunities left.

If the prospect of picking out a symbol of your love (or extreme liking) has you feeling a little panicked, you’re in the right place. Needham Patch recently chatted with a few Valentine’s Day experts in town to get some tips for making sure it’s a happy holiday for all involved. Though there are plenty of other creative ways to illustrate love—many of which don’t involve buying a thing—we’ve chosen to limit our discussion here to what has traditionally become the great triad of Valentine’s Day gift giving: Flowers, chocolate and jewelry.

Got your own great ideas or tips? Share them in the comments below.

Roses are red, violets are blue

For many, the initial thought when it comes to buying flowers may be that only roses will do, but Julie Ben-David—who owns with her husband Avi—assures shoppers there are many options that are just as great.

“They shouldn’t feel pressured into going with roses,” Ben-David said. “Oftentimes around Valentine’s Day people feel pressured into getting roses and there are so many options and choices available. There are mixed bouquets, arrangements, a whole variety of flowers.”

Needham Florist offers “literally hundreds” of flower options in their store at 1091 Great Plain Ave. in many different colors, Ben-David said. Among some of the more popular: Gerber daisies, tulips, lilies, tropical flowers, delphinium and orchids.

“You should certainly think about the recipient’s style—the colors that they might like. If she loves pink, you can get a beautiful pink bouquet. If purple is her color, a nice purple arrangement would do,” Ben-David said.

And don’t leave the guys out—plenty of shoppers send flowers to the special men in their life, too, Ben-David said.

“A lot of times they send balloons to their husband with one single rose—that’s pretty popular,” she said. “Or they’ll do a balloon and a single rose and a box of chocolates. We definitely get a lot of orders for men.”

Though there are set prices for a variety of arrangements, the staff at Needham Florist is happy to work with customers to fit their price range, Ben-David said, so don't let a pricetag discourage you.

Orders can be placed by phone at 800-442-1484 or 781-449-8484 or online at www.needhamflorist.net.

Needham Florist typically makes about 200 to 250 deliveries on Valentine’s Day, Ben-David said, although with the holiday falling mid-week, some may choose to celebrate the weekend before or after.

Obviously, it’s best to get your order in early, but the staff will be working late hours up through the holiday to ensure all orders are filled and they can still take local delivery orders the day of.

Though they mainly deliver to Needham, Wellesley, Newton and the greater Boston area, they are connected with wire services such as FTD and Teleflora, so those wanting to send flowers to a person out-of-state can do so through the Needham shop. Wire deliveries must be received by Sunday to ensure delivery on Valentine’s Day, Ben-David said.

Other options for flowers in Needham:

  • , 117 Chapel St.

Say it with chocolates

If it’s sweets your sweet loves, turn to a place like , 996 Great Plain Ave. Again, the key is to know what the recipient likes or doesn’t like—and to not fall into the trap of buying candy you like because you aren’t sure of their preference.

“If you’re buying for somebody else, don’t pick out what you like,” advised Lisa Mohrwinkel, shop owner. “It’s best to just get an assortment if you don’t know that they have something they really love, because if you just get a box of chocolates, there’s lights and darks, nuts and chews, caramels—there’s going to be something in there, and then they can make a friend.”

Joel’s offers a variety of chocolates and other candies, so there’s lots to choose from.

“If you know somebody loves wine, we have wine chocolates. We have chocolate that tells you right on the package what kind of wine this will pair the best with,” Mohrwinkel said. “Then we have fun chocolates—we have the chocolate-covered brownie dough, the chocolate-covered cookie dough—and we have the solid milk and dark chocolate hearts. You can’t really go wrong with that.”

By far, the shop’s biggest chocolate seller is the pecan turtle. Also popular at Valentine’s Day are large truffles.

“They make a nice presentation,” Mohrwinkel said.

Or you could combine the best of two worlds and go with chocolate roses.

If you don’t want to give candy, there are plenty of other options at local shops like Joel’s—Valentine’s Day platters, mugs and other giftware.

Other places to buy sweets in Needham:

Diamonds are forever

If you have no idea what kind of jewelry to buy your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, the folks at will be sure you don’t leave empty-handed.

“It depends on the guy. If he came in, I’d say who is it for? Is it for your mom? Is it for your girlfriend? And then we can judge from there—is she funky or is she really traditional?” said John Miles, who has worked at the shop for about 20 years. The business has been owned and operated by the Turco family for about 40 years.

“If a young kid comes in and doesn’t know what to get his girlfriend, I’ll usually go to the sterling silver stuff. Guys that are married and have gotten their wife a lot of stuff and have no clue, we’ll just start going through everything to pick out something," Mile said.

Hot items this time of year are sterling silver bracelets—especially those featuring hearts—Lorzenzo white gold and two-toned pieces, and all types of birth stone pendants and jewelry. In particular, the purple February birthstone, amethyst, sells well around Valentine’s Day, Miles said.

It’s also fine to think outside the box, so to speak, when it comes to jewelry giving. Does she need a ring resized or a favorite necklace repaired? Crosby’s does all that, plus engraving, diamond setting and more.

And though the options tend to be more limited, there are many items for male recipients as well.

“I’ll ask, ‘Does he already have a watch? Does he have a dress watch?’ If that’s not right, then we go to a money clip,” Miles said.

Men’s jewelry, particularly items that are engraved, are making a comeback these days, Miles said.

“That stuff slowed down for a while but now with the job market so intense, guys are getting dressed up again,” he said.

Other places in Needham to find a selection of jewelry:

  • , 943 Great Plain Ave.
  • , 20 Chestnut St.
  • , 95 Chapel St.

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