Last-minute ideas for Valentine's Day

Valentines Day is one day that it doesn't hurt to ignore your partner if they tell you to forget about it. In fact, it's a rare occasion when ignoring your partner is recommended.

Most of us know it's a marketing gimmick. Last year, Australians spent around $900 million on the day.  But, an excuse to get romantical has got to be a good thing.

For thousands of years February 14 has been a day to celebrate love, sex and procreation. In ancient Rome it fell in the midst of an annual fertility festival. Young men would strip naked and use goat- or dog-skin whips to spank the backsides of young women in order to improve their fertility.

If that's not quite your (or your beloved's) idea of romance, there are the more traditional ways to mark the day, such as a romantic getaway, chocolate, lingerie, flowers, jewellery and dining out.

You can tweak the traditional ideas as well by going to a chocolate-making class, instead of buying the stock standard box of chocolates, for instance. Try strewn flower petals leading down the hall to a candle-lit living room for an indoor picnic or go to a great gig and make her wear your lingerie gift underneath her clothes to add a touch of spice to the night.

Your display of love needn't be cheesy or expensive. Most women will be touched by any gesture that shows thought - a beautifully written letter, a massage, or a meal made with love and care. You can even break the pleasure-giving budget and do all three.

There are, of course, other options for celebrating and showing a little love and appreciation. 

Remember that one person's poison is another's pleasure, so to aim an arrow straight to the heart tailor your gift to suit the personality and interests of your sweetheart.

Our guide provides ideas that are a little classic, a little sweet and a little bit risqué.

View our last-minute gallery of Valentine's Day gifts here

Or try this: Valentine's Day gifts for him