Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and every year around this time, the airwaves are full of commercials promoting a dozen roses, chocolate candy, perfume, you name it — all sold at a premium price. I don’t know about you, but that annoys me! I don’t consider myself cheap, but I don’t like to feel ripped off, either. I’d rather spend my hand-earned dollars on a gift with lasting value. Chocolate is a nice idea, but shouldn’t Valentine’s Day leave you with something more than empty candy wrappers?

Two years ago, I decided to go against the fray and came up with a unique present that my Valentine absolutely adored. I fixed the gears on my sweetheart’s bike (they had been broken for at least six months), cleaned, it, oiled it up and then went on a ten-mile bike ride with her. It almost killed me, but the smile on her face told me that the aches and pains were totally worth it.

Last year, I demonstrated my undying love with a new Wi-Fi thermostat. Why that, you ask? Because we have a little cabin up north, and when we go up there, it’s always freezing when we walk into the house. With our new thermostat, we program the temperature so that my sweetie feels nice and toasty as soon as we arrive. My wife thought the Wi-Fi thermostat was the greatest gift ever. What’s more, I’m saving money on my heating bill because when nobody is at the cabin, I keep the temperature around 55 degrees, and I save on energy. I don’t have to worry about my pipes freezing when there’s an unexpected cold snap: If the weather report looks particularly frigid, I can heat up my cabin from my phone to prevent any unfortunate plumbing incidents.

This year, my gift is even better. My wife has wanted to remodel the powder room for a few years now. She went to the Cooper Mechanical Showroom and saw a Kohler faucet in brushed nickel that she thought was really sharp. Unbeknownst to her, I ordered the faucet along with a sophisticated vessel sink, a contemporary console and a two-piece toilet, all of which are scheduled for installation on Valentine’s Day, while she’s at work. Imagine the surprise on her face when she gets home and walks into the bathroom!

What about your Valentine? Think outside the box this year and come up with a gift that your sweetie will appreciate for years to come. Need help? Call me or one of my associates at Cooper Mechanical. We’ll help you with ideas that are sure to put a smile on your Valentine’s face, from shower upgrades in Doylestown to sink repair in Easton. Didn’t know the Coop was so romantic, did you?