Last minute ideas for last minute shoppers

Published 3:53 am Monday, February 14, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
So you waited until the last minute to buy a Valentines Day gift for your special someone.
There is still time left to find that special gift to show you care and will help keep you out of the dog house and on Cupid's list.
Though you can never go wrong with the basics, some local stores have the items you need to make it look like you put a little thought into the holiday despite the hectic schedules of today.
Joyce Petty, of Atmore Florist, said you can never go wrong with roses. Petty said she is the longest working florist in town and has been doing this for more than 11 years.
"We have roses already made up in different size bouquets so you don't have to wait," Petty said. "We have Telefloral novelty bouquets these are bouquets that come from a company we use, those bouquets come in 'I love you,' 'How sweet it is', 'Two feet of pure love,' and 'The Romeo bouquet.
If roses aren't your style Petty can help with some other great gift ideas as well.
"We have stuffed animals, singing bears, dancing bears, singing balloons – that's a big balloon that when you thump it, it plays a song for you," she said. "We also have chocolates, gourmet apples – caramel covered with rum in the caramel and dipped in white chocolate or chocolate-chocolate."
And if that's still not what you're looking for she has white orchids, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, calolilies, hydrangeas, Gerber daisies and orchids.
"Different flowers mean different things and a lot of people want to know what the flowers mean in a bouquet," she said. "Red roses mean love, yellow friendship and white stands for purity."
She can even help with wedding proposals or help people with a different sense of taste.
"In the past on several occasions we have made wedding proposals through roses on Valentine's," she said. "The strangest thing somebody ever bought was a funeral basket last year for his sweetheart, he thought they were pretty."
Petty suggests that even the last minute shopper should place their orders as soon as possible.
"On the day of Valentines I'd venture to say there are a good 700 people that come in, in clusters throughout the day," she said. "We may sell out of roses on Valentine's Day."
Edith Beans, owner of the Beans Store, suggests that your sweetheart might be happy with a hot relaxing bath on Valentine's Day.
"We have a lot of bath and body products including Ahava – a bath and body product that's popular because it comes from the Dead Sea where the Dead Sea Scrolls are from," Beans said. "We also have Valentine baskets, candy, cards and gourmet apples."
The strangest thing she has seen done was for a wedding shower that will take place around Valentine's Day.
"I did a kitchen corsage for a bridal shower," she said. "It was made out of flowers, ribbons, dishcloths and a biscuit cutter and had a salad tong on it."
A woman in Flomaton was getting it made for a wedding shower she was throwing. The most common Valentines presents she sells are candy and balloons.
For a whole lot of Valentine's gifts ideas Joe Brown of Country Charms has quite a few gift ideas.
"You name it we got it," Brown said. "We've got stuffed animals, Yankee Candles and Alabama and Auburn items. We also have purses, crystal and stained glass."
Brown said the biggest Valentine's seller is jewelry.
"Silver jewelry is the biggest seller and we do engraving here and we free gift wrap any item over $20," Brown said.
For the person who has his or her heart set on diamonds and gold, Earle's Jewelers has what you're looking for.
Wayne Dunn, who runs Earle's Jewelers, said that his store has everything needed to please the love of your life.
"For young girls from the teens to the 20's we have an Italian Charm bracelet, it's something that can be personalized and it's kind of a new take on an old idea," he said. "Other good choices are monogram earrings, diamond earrings, Past Present and Future rings – which have three stones to symbolize the past, the present and the future of the relationship, slide bracelets – a diamond or a color stone bracelet that's just two bands of gold that can have jeweled pieces slid onto them until it's filled," he said. "It's a good thing for a man that doesn't want to spend a lot of time thinking about stuff."
Dunn has ideas for other people in your life as well.
"For parents we have the precious moments things that have the sayings and the quotes on them," he said.
Sometimes a thoughtful gift just isn't enough and as the saying goes the best way to a person's heart is through their stomach.
After you've bought that someone special that perfect gift, you can surprise them with it during a fine dinner at McElhaney's in downtown Atmore. Owner Chris McElhaney is currently taking reservations for fine dining on Valentine's.
"We've got I would say 25 or so reservations left, most are before 6 p.m. and after 7:30 p.m.," McElhaney said. "This is going to be our (the restaurant's) first Valentines Day."
McElhaney is expecting to fill those remaining spots pretty soon.
"We're hoping to fill up and we're hoping for mostly couples," he said. "We have a discount for couples, four courses for one price, a selection of three or four appetizers and desert."
Of course you could use a romantic Valentine's dinner to propose to someone you love.
"I proposed to my wife on Valentine's Day," he said. "After a nice dinner they might have a better chance of saying yes."

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