This isn’t really a gift guide, but I had to get your attention.
Also, if this post sounds like a not-so-thinly-veiled attempt at hinting to my husband about what I’d like my Valentine’s Day to look like, that’s because it is.*
Now that that’s out of the way, let me say that for all of the cries of “made-up-holiday!” I think traditional Valentine’s Day gifts actually get a lot right.
Gifts that are EDIBLE (chocolate!) and/or PERISHABLE (flowers!) and/or TINY (jewelry! underwear!) and/or EXPERIENTIAL (bubble baths! special dinners! hot stone massages!)?
Chocolate. When was the last time you indulged in really delicious chocolate just because? Last night? Me too. But on Valentine’s Day I like to up the ante just a little; to find something a little more special. I was recently given the gift of these, and that is what I’m talking about. Not your average late-night bodega Reeses rescue. Of course if you and yours never indulge in a late-night Reeses than maybe that is your idea of special. Go get ’em.
Flowers. This one’s debatable. Flowers in February are a really good idea if you live in the southern hemisphere and a totally foolhardy idea if you live in the northern hemisphere. But I’m a personal fan of most foolhardy ideas and houseplants only go so far. Never a lover of red roses, I like the idea of going a slightly unconventional route. My three cents: a ginormous bunch of baby’s breath wrapped up in tissue and tied with a bow might just be better than 24 long-stemmed roses; bringing home a branch that your lovah can force to bloom indoors might just be the most romantic gesture ever; and paperwhite bulbs never hurt anyone (here’s hoping).
(If you’d rather have someone else do the heavy lifting, there are oodles of extremely talented floral designers who are able to work magic with wintertime flowers (Emily Thompson and Fox Fodder Farm are two local favorites). If you’re looking to order online and have flowers delivered any ol’ place, The Bouqs is a nice choice for sustainable stems, and not just roses, either.)
Jewels/Undies/Other Goods. As far as I’m concerned, Valentine’s jewelry doesn’t have to be heart-shaped and it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be the sweet bracelet or ring that your someone-or-other has been eyeing. Also: valentine underwear doesn’t have to be all lace.** Bottom line: the whole affair doesn’t have to be lace and silk and dripping di-a-monds.
Experiences. Because a special dinner out is a wonderful thing. And a fancy dinner in is a wonderful thing. And a greasy slice of pizza from the neighborhood shop is a really wonderful thing. Also: massages.
Cards. Not just for scribbling your name in, for actually writing in. We’re talking love notes, friendlies. I’m especially fond of these and these.
And if these all sound like gifts for women? Break the rules and get your man a bouquet of flowers and a special box of chocolate and the pair of underwear you’ve been secretly wishing he would wear.
And if you have no Valentine to speak of? Treat yourself.
Get a manicure, buy a new lipstick, make dinner with your best friends, tune into your crystals, take a bath all by yourself, go to bed early. Love is the name of this game, no one said anything about that not including a lil’ self-love. Duh.