Sweet burdens of gift ideas

Updated: 2013-01-01 10:03

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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In Fujian province's Xiamen, 30 randomly selected couples between the ages of 18 and 35 spent an average of 1,147 yuan ($184) on Valentine's Day this year, a 15 percent increase from the year before, the Xiamen Evening News reported.

And as gifts take on ever-greater importance in relationships, couples in that group are expected to spend even more on Valentine's Day this year.

"I've taken the time to prepare a Christmas present for my girlfriend," said Li Dongxu, 28, who works for a media outlet in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, and is dating a girl who lives in Beijing.

"Buying a bunch of flowers is a must. This present will be a bridge that my love can cross over to get to her."

Giving gifts is especially important when the partners in a relationship live far apart from each other, he said.

"A present is just a symbol of love, so it does not have to be very expensive," he said. "But it still takes some time for me to think about her hobbies and about what she likes when I'm trying to pick out something that will make her smile."

Cai Donghua, a 27-year-old married man from Beijing's Yanqing county, said gifts do not necessarily signify the presence of true love, although he said he thinks it would be unwise to ignore every holiday, noting that his wife sometimes gives him hints that she is expecting a pleasant surprise.

The man had sent his wife flowers regularly when he was dating her. Now, though, he has let that habit lapse and taken to ignoring important dates.

He said he believes every day can be a special day for a couple that resolves to make the most of its time.