Chances are you've been bombarded with email blasts featuring "discounted" flower deliveries and are growing accustom to the pink and red-lined shelves that have been at your local retailers since the day after Christmas. It's fair to say Valentine's Day is a love/hate holiday, literally. I believe most people's feelings can be generalized into one of four categories:
- Those who got shot in the ass by Cupid. Can be overheard screeching about the gifts they are sure to receive, the totally romantic plans they have, and how excited they are to bask in the glory of their love.
- Um, it's called Singles Awareness Day. Renaming the holiday helps those who are not coupled-up feel better, or at the very least, included. Don't be shocked if they wear all black and are extremely hungover on February 15th.
- It's a bit cliche` but a good excuse to do something special. Hallmark holiday or not, they are willing to shell out a few bucks or spend quality time making sure their loved ones know they care. Even if it's done with an internal eye roll.
- Wait, tomorrow is Valentine's Day? There is no doubt in my mind that this is the exact reason cheesy stuffed animals and sloppy arts & crafts projects exist. Luckily for these procrastinators, most recipients default to an "aww that is SO sweet" mentality.
Spoiler alert to my boyfriend: Act surprised if you get one of these.
$16, from Terrain
2. Their Personal Domain Name. If your special someone doesn't have their own domain name registered, get it for them asap. It's an important part of everyone's personal brand and heaven-forbid you share a name with an X-rated star sometime down the road.
$3.95+, from Register.com
2. Kissing Guorami Fish. It goes without saying that this is more of a long term gift so buy with caution. I think it's a cheeky way to get the message across to your loved one. Bonus points if you name them Jack and Rose and include a sunken ship. Although I prefer Axil and Eigil as a tribute to the world's first "registered gay couple", especially since the "kissing" is really a dominance act between males.
$2.95, from Petco
4. A Musical Valentine. Perfect for your beau or a friend, creating a personalized playlist or pre-made CD is a simple and meaningful DIY. Choose an eclectic mix of songs that have a special meaning to you and the recipient. And be sure to wrap it in a well-designed sleeve, like the one shown here on Design Mom or a tutorial found on Pinterest.
Download your music from iTunes
5. Personalized Map Print. Whether you want to commemorate your hometown(s), long-distance love, or travel destinations, this map print is totally customizable and adds a meaningful pop of color to the art on your walls. Personally, I would leave it blank and invest in some fun stickers to keep it up to date.
$17, from CirclePrints on Etsy
6. Gorilla Gram. How can you not find this absolutely hysterical? Anyone with a sense of humor would appreciate a costumed gorilla barging into their place of employment to deliver a special V-day routine. Unless you work at a daycare and it just so happens to be nap time.
Check this out if you live in the Rochester, NY area.
7. Philanthropic Shoes. So I kind of cheated. But with styles for both Men and Women, you can't go wrong giving a pair. And with TOMS One for One program, every pair you buy another pair is donated to a child in need so really it's like having two valentines.
$54, Petal Grosgrain Women's
$79, Light Gray Chambray Men's
8. Sweets with a twist. My absolute favorite sweet of any kind would be chocolate covered strawberries. I saw this and instantly fell in love. Pair it with a bottle of prosecco or red wine for an instant party for one, two, or more (depending on how you roll).
Strawberry Brownie Pizza recipe via I am Mommy
9. Cooking Classes. Spending quality time together and learning how to prepare new recipes (from trained professionals) is a blast. Plus if you book something on the day of you'll feel less pressure to make additional plans. Check your local restaurants or universities to find a class that is right for you. I recommend the New York Wine & Culinary Center if you are in the Upstate NY area.
10. Charmingly, Witty Card. You can't go wrong with a simple, humorous greeting card.
$4.50, Head over Heels by Tom Foolery
$3.35, Biggest Fan by do-de-line on Cargoh
$3.00, More than Cheese, OhGeezDesign on Etsy