So it's Feb. 13 and you still haven't purchased a gift for your Valentine. Well, you're in luck.
There are great gifts to be found at shops in Malverne and West Hempstead, where your friendly, local merchants are working extra hard to ensure that there are plenty of smiles, and only tears of joy this Valentine's Day.
Here's a taste of what they have to offer and some tips to keep in mind when shopping for your sweetheart.
Jewelry and Collectibles
"Jewelry lasts forever," says Barry Siegel, owner of in Malverne, which has an extensive collection of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings in gold and the more affordable silver.
Siegel showed us various designs featuring hearts, which are popular for Valentine's Day.
"I always think a pretty heart necklace and other heart jewelry make a great Valentine's Day gift," says Doreen Appel, owner of in West Hempstead. "Afterall, February is heart month."
China Connection's collection of Swarovski crystal jewelry includes some great heart necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and even keyrings - some for less than $100. The store also has heart-shaped Lennox frames, and various figurines and other collectibles by Disney, Iladro, Lennox and Swarovski that the lady in your life will love.
Why is Valentine's Day the biggest day for florists?
"The best Valentine's presents show emotion and flowers are a very emotional gift," says Nick Flouskakos, owner of in West Hempstead. "They emit love, happiness and even sadness."
Roses are the most popular flower for Valentine's Day and Flouskakos helped us decode the different meanings of colored roses.
"Yellow is friendship, red is love and white is pure love," he said. "Pink can also mean friendship and after that, it's up to you." (Country Arts also is selling bags of rose petals that you can scatter around your home to set the mood.)
You don't always have to go with roses though, especially if your significant other has another favorite flower. "As a girl, the best gift comes from someone who really listens to you and delivers on what you like," said Elizabeth, who was helping to take orders at . "The key is to know what the person's favorite flower is and when it's in season."
For instance, "tulips are also a great choice," said Richard Hanna, owner of in West Hempstead. He showed us some of the different colored tulips that recently came into his flower shop, as well as some arrangments made with roses and mixed flowers.
All of the florists we visited in Malverne and West Hempstead had great selections of floral arrangments, as well as Valentine's Day balloons and stuffed animals. They're also guaranteeing local delivery if you place your order by Tuesday afternoon. For instance, in West Hempstead says that they'll be taking orders for local deliveries as late as 2 p.m. on Valentine's Day.
You can also pick up a pre-made bouquest of flowers at in Malverne and in West Hempstead.
Chocolate and other Sweet Treats
You'll find heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and other candy at some of the local florists, card stores, supermarkets and pharmacies like in Malverne.
"Most people like chocolate and it's easily available," said Mike, the owner of Village Card Shop in Malverne, which sells candy, cards, stuffed animals and balloons, including some oversized helium creations. For those looking to go that next step, Mike showed us some adorable bouquets that include candy, a small balloon and a plush animal, a great affordable gift for adults and kids.
If you're looking for gourmet chocolate, in West Hempstead has handmade chocolate lollipops, hand-dipped strawberries and other treats. You can place an order in advance or just stop in and choose from their wide assortment of freshly made sweets. Both Riesterer's and also have some great cakes and cookies for you to cap off a romantic Valentine's Day dinner.
If you're Valentine is more into smelling sweet than indulging in sweet treats, you can also purchase a bottle of perfume or cologne at a great price at in West Hempstead. Everytime they spritz it on they'll think of you.
Dinner and Movie
Tom Carlin, of Malverne, says a "nice expensive dinner" can be a great Valentine's Day gift too. Book a dinner reservation at in West Hempstead, in Malverne or one of the other fine dining establishments in the neighborhood. Why not also catch a flick at the Malverne Cinema. The Oscar-nominated film, "The Artist," is playing.
What's the best Valentine's Day gift you have every received? Tell us in the comments section below.