There’s a reason flowers and chocolate are big Valentine’s Day gifts. But flowers die quickly and chocolate conflicts with those New Year’s resolutions so many of us just made. So we’ve provided a list of great gifts that will last and be memorable. They’re at a range of price points, whether you believe Valentine’s Day is the day to show your partner how much you care by going big, or you just feel obligated to do something small to show you haven’t entirely forgotten what my family used to scoff at as a Hallmark holiday.
1. A Great Read. Sharing a good book is an intimate act. Giving someone a collection of your favorite books is like revealing your deepest secrets. Or, at the very least, it’s solving what can be a daunting problem for people: So many books, so little time, and no time for books that aren’t fantastic. Either choose some of your favorites, poll your friends, or go to Goodreads. Bonus points if you inscribe something in the front of all of them. (A few of our favorites, in no particular order: The Weight of Ink, Americanah, A Gentleman in Moscow, Bel Canto, and Now Let the Great World Spin.) This is also a great gift because it can be the beginning of a Valentine’s tradition, which means you don’t have to come up with a new gift every year!
2. Memorable Jewelry. How can we not love a jewelry designer who seeks to invoke memories of times past with every creation? Shahlah Karimi's cool, stackable rings depict major NYC subway lines, with diamonds at the express stops, no less. That she uses recycled gold and conflict-free stones make them something we can easily get on board with. 14K gold subway rings, Shahlah Karimi $595.
3. Relive your Wedding. You may not have ordered your wedding album yet, but for sure there are special keepsakes from that most special day you’ll both want to save. With Savor Wedding Edition Keepsake boxes you have a special wedding memento you can enjoy any day. They look like books, so you keep them out and accessible for easy filing or reminiscing. Over Valentines Day dinner, you can relive the best parts of your wedding by filling out their couples’ survey of the day’s highlights, from your first dance to the best toasts. Savor Wedding Edition Keepsake Box, $99.95.
4. The Insta Pot Answer. With some people, you need to be careful about giving a kitchen-oriented gift. If they aren’t into cooking, then this isn’t the time for a gentle nudge. But if you are into cooking, the instant pot is the item of the year. Everyone we know who has one can’t stop talking about how “life changing” they are. They’re pressure cookers, steamers, rice cookers, steamers and more. We’re even told they make cakes, although we’ve yet to try that one out. Instant Pot Duo Plus 60, $129.
5. Keep 'em Protected. If you’re of the mind that this is not a holiday you go big on, but just do a little something sweet for each other, then this heart-shaped umbrella is ideal. It hits the trifecta of being cute, sweet, and event-specific. Crimson Heart Umbrella, Uncommon Goods, $32
6. A Treasure Trove. It’s satisfying to buy and satisfying to receive a bunch of little gifts that are just clever fun objects. It’s nothing you really need, but the idea of being able to open a bunch of gifts feels romantic in itself (maybe one for every Valentines Day you’ve had together?) For these gifts, you can either go to one store, like Muji, the MOMA store. And for a retailer that doesn't prioritize aesthetics, Amazon's Finds actually is a surprisingly great source of inspiration, from Sushi pushpins to Baby pet facial masks and more. Don't forget to check the 'pinners' they sprinkle throughout for great curation.
7. Purses with Indie Cred. Brooklyn designer Yegang Yoo has created architectural bags with a bit of suede, a bit of leather and a lot of style. These are just the right size and proof that gorgeous bag doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars. We love, too, that she has basic and not-so-basic colors. Sometimes it’s about having the thing that’s cool but different. Of A Kind, Imago-A bag, $395
7. A Memory Captured.The beauty of a personalized gift is that it shows you chose something just for the recipient. It’s always original. We love these plates that can hold copies of your wedding invitation, the Bolognese recipe he made for you on your first date, or just a sweet note. A great keepsake you can enjoy every day. Etsy, $50.
Photo: Via stylemepretty.com
8. A Cozy Bed. It’s a little unconventional, but we love gifts that make the bedroom more inviting. This shearling mattress cover would make us stay in bed to snuggle. Isn’t that the idea of Valentine’s Day? thegrommet.com, $229 and up.
9. Something to Pad Around In. Speaking of cozy, his and hers slippers that actually look a little more like shoes you might be caught dead in outside the house strike that balance of being romantic and practical. We love these super cozy from Ugg (in both his and hers styles). We also just discovered Birdies, which combine the look of flats with the comfort of slippers. Megan Markle and Emmy Rossum are fans. Flying may never be the same again.
10. A Vibrant, Living Gift. t’s lovely, especially in the bleak days of February, to get something vibrant and living. But instead of flowers, which triple in price for Valentines Day and die the day after, consider a plant. These cool geometric planters can live anywhere, provide a great background for your instagram shots, and give a little life to your work area. As an extra bonus, these guys are even on sale. Trigg Hanging Planter, $27, $89 for 3.
11. The Gear They Want or Need. There’s pretty much no one who doesn’t appreciate nice workout gear. Either you have nice stuff and use it all the time – and I don’t care who you are or what brand it is, eventually, it starts to get a little, um, stinky. Or you don’t have nice gear because it feels like an extravagance. Our yoga fanatic friend recommended these Michi leggings to us, and we’ve been known to wear them even on days we aren’t headed to workout classes. Michi, $180
Lead image source: bostonmama.com