As you search for a memorable gift for February 14, chocolate hearts, red roses, or jewelry might quickly come to mind. But if you want to express your creative-side this year, consider the many unique gift ideas available to you for Valentine’s Day. Select a single gift or combine several to fit a theme. Select a gift that’s a simple token of your affection or one that full-out says “I love you.” Whatever you decide, you must ensure that the gift you choose is appropriate for your Valentine. There’s a little work involved, but it’s easier than you think, and it's fun, too. Let’s take a look at some of the creative and unique gift ideas – along with strategies for presenting them -- for Valentine’s Day.
Create an Interest Profile
Your success in selecting a great gift for Valentine’s Day depends largely on the interests of your special someone. To help you make a good selection, take a few minutes to make a simple list of important highlights in your relationship. What were some memorable moments? Do you have any inside jokes? List successes and struggles that were overcome. What is your Valentine good at? How does he or she spend his or her free time?
This list of interests will help you celebrate the beautiful connection you have with your special someone. And, once you find the connections, it will be easy to be clever with your gift. Let this profile inspire you, and it will provide a springboard for you to choose from among the many creative and unique gift ideas for Valentine’s Day.
The “Perfect For Me” Gift - An Example
As an example, my then-boyfriend (who later became my husband) and I walked into a store with a black light. My white shirt glowed brightly in the light but my well-worn sneakers did not. I laughed, brought my dirty shoes to his attention, and quickly left the store. A couple of months later, on Valentine’s Day, I received the unexpected gift of athletic shoes … and a light bulb. This might not have been romantic by usual standards. However, his creative gift demonstrated that he paid attention to and remembered what I had casually said two months ago. His gift demonstrated that he knew my likes (fitness) and dislikes (expensive jewelry, lucky for him!). He helped me solve a problem (grungy shoes), and he made reference to an inside joke (light bulb) that he and I had shared.
He thought it out and put it together. And I loved it.
Great presents always reflect the thoughtfulness of the giver. There are three categories of gifts that, when combined, can make a good gift exceptional:
- Gifts that are things (such as chocolates, flowers, jewelry, gift cards).
- Gifts that reflect on memories.
- Gifts that create memories.
Each of the ideas that follow touch on one or more of these categories.
Shadow boxes are 3-D frames that allow you to keep cherished memorabilia, such as medals and awards. Shadow boxes come in different sizes and can be purchased online, at a local art supply store, or big box retailer. Before purchasing your box, review the interest profile you created. Collect small items, such as photos, a coaster from your favorite restaurant, a ticket stub, or a love letter. Tell a visual “story” with the objects you select, such as celebrating your “firsts” (first date, kiss, etc.).
Classes for Two
While classes or lessons would work for your Valentine alone, how about selecting something that you can do together? Would he or she like to learn ballroom dancing? Swimming? Mountain-climbing? Golf? If your Valentine is a foodie, sign up for cooking classes that you can take together.
A quotes made of removable vinyl lettering provide an interesting touch to your favorite wall. Select from love and romance quotes such as “The best things in life are unseen. That’s why we close our eyes when we kiss, laugh, and dream.” The vinyl-lettering can also be customized to include your names or something generic like, "you + me." See online companies that make vinyl wall decals like Wall Written, Trading Phrases, or Wall Words.
A Playlist and an MP3 player
Make a playlist with favorite songs that you enjoy as a couple. Buy an iPod as part of the gift or load the playlist onto an existing one. What type of music does your Valentine like? Does he or she have a long commute? If so, books on tape or podcasts might be helpful. Guided meditation tapes from companies like Brainsync and HypnoShop can help with personal development, including easing stress, enhancing creativity, and sleeping better.
A Movie of Your Romance
Programs like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker make it easy to create a fun video or slide show. Gather clips or photos of you as a couple. Just 15 to 20 images or clips and personal messages should do the trick. Add music. If you have a “couple song,” choose that. Or, consider “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley, “You Make Me Smile” by Uncle Kracker, or “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars.
A Personalized Book
Personalized novels allow you and your Valentine to star in your own romantic story. Select from pre-written romance novels and provide names, places, and details to personalize you own love story. Because the hard-copy version of the novel must be printed, allow at least 2 to 3 weeks of lead time. You can order personalized books from companies like www.booksbyyou.com and www.yournovel.com.
Look for tasks that overwhelm your Valentine – tasks that you can help solve and that can be easily outsourced. This might mean gift certificates for a car wash, baby sitter, life coach, or professional organizer. Be careful, however, that you don’t inadvertently send a hidden message, such as giving a gym membership because you think your Valentine needs to lose weight.
Dinner (or Lunch) for Two at a Scenic Spot
Avoid the crowds by arranging a take-out meal from your favorite restaurant instead of dining in. Bring a blanket or chairs. Pack utensils, plates, cups, and drinks in a cooler. Look for a spot near an ocean, lake, or beautiful vista. Sometimes the most romantic spot might be at home in front of the fireplace or at the dining table by candlelight. Keep it simple.
Give the gift of beauty and relaxation. Many spas in hotels allow non-hotel guests to purchase services. Purchase gift certificates for a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure. Many places will offer massages for couples where massage tables are side-by-side, so consider going with your Valentine.
Online marketplaces like Etsy provide beautiful, handcrafted items from a variety of crafters. You’ll even find a list of gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, which members of the Etsy community have put together. There are suggestions of creative and unique gifts for him, gifts for her, and gifts for kids. You will even find gag gifts among the list of ideas for Valentine’s Day for those with a good sense of humor.
Timing and Presentation
Another creative and unique gift idea is to adjust the timing of your Valentine’s Day gift-giving. There is no need to wait till February 14. Let your Valentine know that you are on top of the special day by sending flowers on February 1. If you’re really ambitious, consider giving a small gift on the 14th day of each month.
The use of a scavenger hunt is a creative and fun way to lead your Valentine to your gift. Write a few clues on post-its. Put the first clue in an obvious location where it will be easily found, such as on the bathroom mirror, coffee machine, or on the TV remote control. Each subsequent clue that you plant will add an element of excitement to the gift-giving process.
Pick and choose from among these ideas (or add your own). Thoughtfully express your sentiments, and enjoy a memorable Valentine’s Day with your love.