By Lyndsey Fought
As one of the most marketed holiday approaches, couples sigh while they scramble to figure out what to do or get for their partner. Prepare for the sea of red and pink wherever you go (run for your lives!) and the barrage of advertisements for chocolates, teddy bears, and flowers.
But what if you want to give your loved one something different? These gifts will give you a new edge and be sincerely appreciated by your partner. Or yourself! That’s right, those of you who may not have a partner or simply don’t believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day will be getting these awesome gifts to give yourself. Treat yourself! (Which would be a cool secondary name for Valentine’s Day, to be honest.)
For The Adventurous
Try a paid lesson for two to start a hobby your partner has mentioned wanting to get into. This is great for people who live away from larger cities and therefore tend to have fewer options. Here are a few ideas:
- Horse riding: Generally you can arrange a lesson in advance if you want to ride on Valentine’s Day. Seek out a barn that treats their horses with love and care, if the price is super cheap be wary. Caring for a horse is pretty pricey so lessons are going to be mid-range here. Check out the barns and ask about where you will be riding.
- Shooting range: If your partner has hinted at an interest in learning to shoot, contact local gun ranges. Chances are the gun ranges will have safety classes and sometimes conceal carry classes as well. A few ranges will have a separate archery range if the interest is in bows instead of guns.
- Sky-Diving or Rock-Climbing: This one would probably require some travel and is a bit costly, but could be well worth it. People don’t get to do this many times, and creating this experience will give you something to talk about for years to come!
- Casino: The chocolates you were going to buy, the dinner you were going to get, the lingerie you were going to purchase, the champagne? Put it into a separate area in your wallet or purse and have a night out at the casino!
For The Laid Back
For many people Valentine’s Day isn’t fun because crowds or waiting for a table at a restaurant can feel like too much. These ideas are for people who would like to avoid Valentine’s Day madness, but still want to celebrate!
- Plot out a driving adventure. Go to a mapping site and print off a map that’s a 50 to 100-mile radius around your home town. Drive the backroads, have a mix on your phone to play (be sure to include music your partner likes), and relax. Switch off driving if you’d like and stop at gas stations to pick up soft drinks you haven’t tried before. Use some date money for scratch off tickets, and you might get lucky!
- Go to a winery: This still provides an outing and can offer a nice alternative to a busy restaurant. While it may be a bit busy on Valentine’s Day, the booze will help counteract that. After tasting and maybe roaming the grounds, grab a couple of bottles, hit the store for good cheese and crackers and go get in bed with your loot!
- Stay in bed: You know that show they are obsessed with but for some reason they don’t have the boxset of yet? Go purchase their favorite show or rent a few movies, throw it in a bag with some popcorn (or their favorite movie snack), and snuggle up for a whole night of watching!
- Order in: Most places will still accept to-go orders on Valentine’s. Prepare yourself! Write down all the take-out foods you like and order from multiple places, pick them up and have a massive picnic on your living room floor. The waiting will be considerably shorter since they do take-out orders on a rush and you’ll be able to enjoy in the privacy of your home! Don’t forget to get a bottle of wine (going to suggest Castello del Poggio Moscato from Olive Garden) and a dessert!
- Get creative: Use the above idea to stretch it out to have themed parts throughout the day. Order an English breakfast and watch an English mini-series. For lunch, order from the Italian bistro and enjoy some Italian music. For dinner, enjoy some sushi and watch a Japanese flick.
For Those Who Like Continual Gratification
I have fallen slowly in love with subscriptions to products online, the type where they send you a certain amount of products weekly or monthly or quarterly.
- For those who have wanderlust: Trytheworld.com sends out a box every other month for you to taste and try products from a different city. They begin in Paris, then go to Tokyo, then Rio. After those three you will get boxes from other areas, too. They even have info cards that tell you about the culture and suggest movies and music from that city. ($45/box)
- For the cocktail and spirit connoisseur: Julibox.com, this subscription is delivered monthly with all of the fixings to make four cocktails. An adult signature is required on delivery and the subscription begins at $40/month.
- For the food lover: Head over to Mouth.com, where you can choose from several different collections and subscriptions . There’s even a cookie subscription where they send you 30 cookies in a month, one for every bedtime! Sweet dreams, indeed! These subscriptions are pricier than the above, however, at around $200 for a 3-month subscription.
- For a more economical choice and a healthy alternative: Check out graze.com. They have a waiting list for subscribers, but once you get in you get four invite codes and the boxes are $5 (the first one being free). You can get them once a month, twice a month, or depending on your shipping area, once a week. You get to rate the homemade and natural items they put in the boxes to ensure your future boxes will be more attune to your tastes. (I love their flapjacks!)
For Those Who Like Delayed Gratification
This is best for those who know what their partner wants but that thing doesn’t fall on Valentine’s Day.
- Tickets to a show: Present in a flashy box and done! Order a pizza and chill; they’ll appreciate the ease of the day and look forward to the event!
- Begin a savings account for your next vacation: Get them an item that clues them in on the vacation. For example, if it’s a Disney vacation, get them a Mickey plushie; if it’s England, get them a tin of teas, etc. Beside the item, include a snapshot of the savings account and a brief, rough itinerary. Top this off by already reserving a hotel room. (Leave wiggle room and make sure you are able to cancel — but most people will really appreciate plans falling into place.) You can finish with a theme dinner and beginning to draw up more plans for your vacation. Too many times vacation plans fall through, so ensuring that both parties are involved and there is already money set aside will probably help you finally get the vacation you deserve.
- Do the above for a simple day away: Plan on taking them to planetarium and gift them a Starfield Simulation Light with details of your future plans included. Make plans to go to arboretum and give them a bonsai tree. If they have interest in the ballet nab some tickets and give it to them in a music box.
Lastly, have fun and do something you and your partner will enjoy.
I have too many interests and I get easily distracted, so I haven’t completed a single thing in my life. Yay, hyperboles! I have been to culinary school and I like baking cupcakes. I write the beginnings of too many novels. I am driven by ambition and delayed by perfectionism.
I would like to travel the world, learn from others, write some best sellers, and have a restaurant or bakery someday. I am a Slytherin. I like the tenth Doctor best (followed by ninth). I am too obsessed with Downton Abbey and the whole etiquette of that era. I never forget to be awesome!