• Don't limit yourself to Valentine's Day. Sometimes, it's fun to give an amazing, well-thought-out gift during other parts of the year. Here are some of the things Tony's given Maya in the past, and not necessarily for Valentine's Day. (Warning: Guys, you're going to hate Tony for setting this precedent.)
For the creative, tech-savvy gift giver: Consider taking old photo and video collections scattered about the house and attic and digitize them so they're all in one place. If you want to get really creative for a holiday down the line, try something along these lines: "For Maya's birthday last year, I spent three months cutting together old footage of her as a child and teenager with footage from American Idol, the Grammy awards, and interviews with friends and family to create a "Behind the Music" video for her that re-imagined her life as that of a rock star," Tony says.
For the wordsmith gift giver: Take things you've written for your lover, either romantic or silly, or things he or she's inspired you to write, and put them together in one collection. "I had some limericks I'd written for her during our early courtship bound by a specialty bookmaker into a beautiful book, 'Poems on the Theme of Maya,'" Tony says.
• Invent a holiday. Take some random day, one that might have special meaning, such as the anniversary of your first date or first kiss, and make it you and your lover's personalized Valentine's Day. For instance, Tony says he has a habit of creating new "Maya-based" holidays throughout the year. "So we have Cinco de Maya and Maya di Gras, where we go out and celebrate all things Maya," he says. "These days mean more to me than Valentine's Day, because I'm not telling her I love her because it is expected or traditional, but because I've chosen a completely random day to tell her how wonderful she is."