Sweets and Kind Words for Valentine's Day

By Erika Mahoney

February 14, 2013 Updated Feb 14, 2013 at 6:46 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) On the eve of Valentine's Day, the Oakdale Mall was packed with busy shoppers.

Gift-givers said they won't go wrong with the traditional gifts of jewelry, chocolate, flowers and cards.

The owner of Van Cott Jewelers said there was a big rush Wednesday, especially during lunch time.

She said hearts have been very popular, and as always, diamond engagement rings.

"It's a gift giving time and I think people just want to express their love," Birdie Levine said. "And hearts are just one of the hottest items that we sell."

Levine said she loves this time of the year because she gets to meet lots of people.

She said one special moment Wednesday happened when a couple came in celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. They bought new rings.

Another special moment happened when the winners of the Van Cott Super Proposal stopped by to get their engagement ring re-sized.

"It's shiny, it's just perfect for my personality," Meg Ferre said.

"It's way more than we could have ever done so we are very thankful," Zach Burczynski said.

Gertrude Hawk Candies and Tracy's Hallmark were also packed with shoppers.

But beyond the familiar gifts were some creative ones.

"I got him [husband] a pen engraved with his name and a love message," said Daphnie Thompson, of Johnson City. "And I also got him a mug because he loves to drink coffee. That is also engraved."

Michael Pisani, of Binghamton, has two valentines, his girlfirend and his roommate who has a birthday on Valentine's Day.

"I have my roommate, he's going to be 33 tomorrow, so I bought him a deep fryer," Pisani said. "We like to make a lot of deep fried food. We usually just use a pot with oil in it, so I figured why not go for the deep fryer."

For his girlfriend, it was chocolate.

In a study featured by the National Retail Federation, both traditional and non-traditional gifts will be popular this year.

The study projects a total of $18.6 billion dollars in spending for the holiday.