02/13/2013 11:44 am ET Updated Apr 15, 2013

14 Things NOT to Give Your Wife For Valentine's Day


1. Lingerie - Unless your wife is an actual Victoria's Secret model, in which case you'll be doing your Valentine's Day shopping at Harry Winston, you don't want to navigate this minefield. Bring home a size too big and you'll insult her; give her undies she can't squeeze into and you'll depress her. Neither of those avenues leads to your pants.

2. Heart Mug - Nothing says "I forgot it was Valentine's Day so I stopped at the gas station on the way home" like a coffee mug with a big heart on it. Such an object is ripe for throwing. Duck!

3. A Coupon For Your Body - Whoever invented these cheap-ass romance coupon books probably did get laid using one, but that was the only time it ever worked. Seriously, do we need a coupon for your body? Not last time I checked. Now go buy her a present.

4. Dustbuster - Your wife is your Carol Brady -- why are you trying to make her feel like Alice? Forget about household appliances. Instead, imagine what Jay-Z is giving Beyoncé. Now find an affordable version of that.

5. Gym Membership - Sinatra sang about "the way you look tonight." A gym membership says, "I'd really like it if you looked different than you do tonight." Ditto elliptical machines, hand weights and exercise videos. A smoking hot personal trainer who gives encouraging shoulder massages could be the exception here.

6. Drug Store Chocolate - A big box of crap movie theater candy does not make a girl feel special -- it just gives her calorie anxiety. If you know she loves chocolate, step up your game and go gourmet, like truffles, preferably tequila infused, bacon stuffed or diamond encrusted.

7. Perfume - A sexy scent is a great idea if you know exactly what your lady likes. So let me ask you a few questions: Is she into citrus, floral, fruity, green, spicy, oceanic, woody, musky or patchouli? Does she prefer an eau de parfum or an eau de toilette? Does she have allergies? Is there any chance the scent you're buying is that exact same one your mother or ex-girlfriend wears? Unless you can ace that quiz, go for luxury scented bath products or candles instead.

8. Crock Pot - This isn't your wedding registry -- this is Valentine's Day, a holiday that is not about practical gifts, even things your wife actually needs. Huge brownie points for showing up with that crock pot on February 15, though.

9. Stuffed Animal - Unless you and she have a plushies fetish, in which case, cool, a stuffed animal is not going to cut it, especially for moms. That's like trying to seduce her with a Matchbox car.

10. Gift Certificate - I know it's tempting. There are so many bad gift ideas, why not just let her choose her own Valentine's Day present? It's called the element of surprise! If you're handing her an envelope, it should have tickets in it, and not the lottery kind.

11. Dead Flowers - Fresh flowers, we like. But sad, wilted flowers that within a day are going to shed all over the table and make the water smell like hot hamster cage are almost worse than no gift at all. Skip the pre-made bouquets that have been sitting around the store and choose blossoms that look like they've got staying power, just like your love.

12. Nothing - Unacceptable. When we married you, it was for better or for worse, in sickness and in heath and 'til death do us part... unless you blow off one of the major holidays. Then it's sooner.

13. The Job of Planning Valentine's Day - You know what's a nice gift for the woman who makes your whole life run smoothly? A vacation from planning. Show her you care by making some reservations and booking a babysitter. If you're the planner in your family and I'm just being sexist, then by all means do the opposite.

14. Jewelry - She's probably got so much of it already, who needs it? Ha ha ha ha. Everyone. Everyone needs jewelry. I was just testing you. Get her some jewelry.

I'm sure I've offended some husbands and even a few wives, so feel free to express yourself in the comments. But what I really want to know is, what were your best and worst Valentine's Day presents?

Post originally appeared on Carriage Before Marriage and Dad or Alive.