Okay, that's not completely true. Women, especially, love flowers. However, when it comes to long-lasting, life-changing, get-em-out-of-the-house-before-it-burns-down kind of gifts, a bouquet of roses from 1-800-FLOWERS probably isn't going to make the cut.
Every once in awhile, it's important to take it up a notch. To borrow the title from a best-selling book, we need to move from "good to great" in the gift giving department. And, in my experience, every great gift has four components.
1. They make SENSE. They fill a need, want, desire, or longing. In the movie Hitch, Will Smith's character took his date not to a movie or a restaurant or a bowling alley, but to Ellis Island. Generations before, this girl's great-grandfather got off the boat at Ellis Island and signed the welcome book. The trip, despite a few missteps, made perfect sense. (Surprising your husband with a TV on Super Bowl weekend or your wife with a trip to her childhood home also make a lot of sense.)
2. They involve SACRIFICE. Not just money, but time, energy, comfort, etc. A young boy was once asked by doctors if he would be willing to donate blood for his sister who was very sick. He was told it would help save her life, so the boy agreed. After the transfusion he asked his parents, "Am I going to die now?" This young boy thought he was giving up his life for his sister, not just some of his blood. His sacrifice (or willingness to sacrifice) made his gift remarkable. (Any time you give up something important to you for the sake of another person, your gift has more weight to it.)
3. They are SPECIAL. Special means unique, rare, hard to find, or custom. You probably can't find a truly "special" gift at Walmart or Target. NASA astronaut Mark Kelly had his wife's wedding ring inscribed for that very reason - to make it uniquely hers. On the inside of the band it says, "You're as close to heaven as I'll ever get." Wow. (The fireplace mantle at our house is special. We got it from a North Carolina flea market on our honeymoon, and there's not another one exactly like it in the world.)
4. They have a STORY. When the gift (or the method by which the gift was obtained or given) has a story, it lives on. Think engagements. Even bottled water and coffee packaging tells the story of where it was gathered and how it was brought to Starbucks especially for you. (Oftentimes, doing a great job on numbers one through three automatically lead to a story worth telling.)
Can flowers ever be a great gift? Well, take time off work (sacrifice) to pick a fresh bouquet (special) from the field behind your house (story) and surprise her on the anniversary of your first kiss (sense)...and you'll have your answer.