As January draws to a close, we start looking ahead to the next thing. An obvious February highlight is Valentine’s Day! I decided to write up this Valentine’s Day gift guide for you all and share some gifting tips + suggestions.
I love celebrating – in an introverted, homebody kind of way (definitely not a party person). Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries – I love having an excuse to buy little gifts or decorate for a special occasion, have loved ones over for dinner, do something out of the ordinary. These celebrations break you out of your regular routine and bring some fresh joy to life.
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to express your love for the people in your life. Gifts are one great way to do that; however, there are some good rules-of-thumb to keep in mind as you shop.
- Affordable – Don’t spend a fortune. While you don’t always want to buy the cheapest option available, you also don’t have to go crazy. There is usually a happy balance to be found – somewhere between a Walmart cubic zirconia and a Shane Co. diamond. Aim for this middle ground.
- Purposeful – I am all about fun, quirky gifts, but I generally try stay away from ‘gag gifts’ – unless it’s something really perfect for the person I’m giving to and cheap enough to justify. But as a general rule, I don’t buy gifts that are totally purposeless.
- Not too cheesy – Pinterest is the obvious go-to for gift inspiration, especially for the creative types. I get it! And there are some fantastic ideas to be found. But some of them are really… just too much. Too cheesy. Okay? You know yourself, you know your loved one. Just take the time to ask yourself, Is this something that s/he would appreciate? If the answer is yes, by all means, go for it! This is always the driving question when buying a gift because that is the whole reason you are buying it – to express your love, to tell this person that you were thinking of them. If it isn’t something they would value, then why bother spending the money?
- It’s okay to buy a card from Dollar Tree – Andrew and I don’t always give each other Valentine’s Day cards, but when I do, it’s usually either homemade or from Dollar Tree. Yeah, the sayings are cheesy – luckily they usually have some blank options! But frankly, I can’t afford to spend $5-$10 on a card that will, realistically, end up in the trash later. Buy a card on the cheap, make something sweet and personal, or maybe make your significant-other a video of yourself saying what you would have written down.
Those are my “general guidelines”. Basically, it boils down to: Be smart with your money and take the time to think about what your loved one would like. Pretty simple!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on to the gift ideas!
*Disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you!) from qualifying purchases.*
Gift Ideas for Spouse / Significant Other
Open When Letters
– The first Valentine’s Day Andrew and I spent together we were still dating long distance, seeing each other roughly one weekend out of two weeks. I wrote him a set of “Open When” letters – letters only to be opened at a certain time, specified on the envelope. “Open When You’re Feeling Lonely”, “Open When You Need A Laugh”, things of that nature. There are tons of great suggestions on Pinterest. This is a personal and romantic gift, and one that keeps on giving as they only open one letter at a time.
– Perhaps a no-brainer suggestion, but there is simply something romantic about giving jewelry as a gift. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but put some real thought into it. What style does he like? What is something about this particular piece that would make it special to her? Personalized jewelry is very popular; an engraved ring, necklace hand-stamped with family names, or a bracelet with meaningful coordinates are all thoughtful pieces that will be treasured for years to come. A personalized keychain is a great alternative if your SO doesn’t wear jewelry.
– There are so many romantic and creative ways to give a picture. Blow it up into a giant print, turn it into lyric art, make a photo collage, have it printed on canvas, print it on a pillow if that’s your thing. Go old school and make a scrapbook. Photographs are timeless. If it has been a while since you’ve had professional photos taken, maybe schedule a family photoshoot!
Framed Wedding Vows
– Did you write your own wedding vows? Consider a creative way that you could display them in your home! I found the above photo frame for $10 at Homegoods; I designed the pictures on Photoshop and then had them printed at Costco. There are a lot of different ways you could go about this, but whatever you decide, it’s a deeply personal and romantic gift.
– There is something irresistibly romantic about a bouquet of roses, but the sad reality is, they won’t last longer than a week (unless you dry them). However, a potted plant will last quite a while! If she doesn’t have a green thumb, maybe consider a succulent or cactus which are pretty hardy plants (and trendy to-boot). Buy a pretty planter to go with it and you’re golden!
– If you haven’t heard of Catana Comics, go check them out! I absolutely love their Instagram; seriously the most relatable relationship cartoons out there (even more so because Andrew and I share the dramatic height difference). You can buy a collection of their comics in book form. I own this book and it’s so cute!
– Get them a little something to spice up the sexy side of their wardrobe! This gift is a little self serving because hey, who doesn’t want to see their partner dressed up (or down) a bit. You could also buy a toy that the two of you can enjoy, or a game / coupon book to spice up your evenings together.
– Depending on your partner’s interests this idea can be a bit more expensive, but the memories will be worth it. What is something that he has always wanted to try – a hot air balloon ride, scuba-diving, horseback riding? Does she love live performances? Check out what shows / performers / concerts / plays will be in the area that spring. Is he a sports fan? Go catch a game! The beauty of buying tickets to something is that it doesn’t have to take place right around Valentine’s Day; even if it is months in the future, your loved one has something special to look forward to! Or you could keep it simple and go out on a date, just the two of you.
Gift Ideas for Baby / Toddler
In my mind, gifts for little ones on Valentine’s Day are a little bit different simply because the holiday is still over their heads. They aren’t going to understand a cutesy Valentine with its play-on-words. But of course you still want to include them! The heart (pun intended) behind Valentine’s Day is showing our love. So, buy your child something that you know they would like, or that they’ve been asking for, and explain why you are giving it to them. I’d recommend keeping it small and thoughtful – one, because that ought to suffice, and two because if you are extravagant, then you may be setting high expectations for future years.
– Books are always a solid gift choice, especially with little ones. Buy them a book about God’s love, family, or even a book about St. Valentine. There are countless wonderful book options for less than $10 to be found on Amazon!
– Create a photo book for your little one! This is a great idea to help your baby or toddler recognize the faces of loved ones – whether friends, family, or pets. There are so many great options for printing photobooks; I personally love Chatbooks because it is so easy to use and a great size for little hands.
Coloring Book + Crayons
– Depending on your little one’s age, a coloring book is another great option. You can get a 36 pack of crayons from Walmart for $0.50, and they even have some coloring books for as cheap as $1 (not a lot of options though; I would go to Dollar Tree for coloring books).
Other ideas would be a small toy (varies based on their interests / age), a clothing item or accessory (jewelry, sunglasses, etc), or even just snacks! You can’t go wrong with snacks. Along that vein, you could also buy them a snack trap; Munchie Mugs are my personal favorite. Just buy them a small something that says you were thinking of them.
I realize that not all of these suggestions apply to everyone, but I hope that they served to inspire you. Don’t worry about being flashy or extravagant; it’s the thought that counts. Sometimes the simplest gifts are the sweetest.
What kind of gift guides would you be interested in seeing in the future? Let me know in the comments below!