When I was a kid, I loved Valentine’s Day. I got such a kick out of giving out Valentine’s Day cards with big red hearts to all the people who made me happy. I gave them to my parents, my teachers, favorite classmates, my playmates, even the mailman.
Back then Valentine’s Day was fun, and it was an excuse to tell the people who make you happy how much they mean to you. Romance had nothing to do with it when I was 10. I want to re-shape V-Day so we can experience it like we used to. Let’s put a spin on Valentine’s Day, make it fun, make it for everyone:
- Buy a pack of Valentine’s Day cards and give them to anybody and everybody you want.
- And if you’re really feeling jazzed, treat someone special to a gift. How about surprising with a small token of your affection your best girlfriend who keeps your secrets, the sister/brother you were so mean to as kids but who grew up to love you anyway, your mom/dad who’s always there for you, the cousin you grew up with, the niece who will take care of you when you’re old, the co-worker who sits next to you and pretends not to overhear your phone calls, your neighbor, mentor/mentee…anybody who makes you smile.
Valentine’s Day will be here soon. If you want a little guidance, here are a few great gift ideas. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money; all of these are under $50:
Eating and Drinking
- Heart-shaped candy. Available at every drugstore for just a dollar or two.
- Pier 1 Red Spiral Stemware reminds us that anytime’s a good time for a celebration. $6. http://www.pier1.com/Red-Spiral-Stemware/PS7431,default,pd.html
- Creme-Delicious Macaroons. Cute Crème Macaroons in a myriad of fun colors and flavors. Beautiful to look at, delightful to devour. $48 for a box of 12. http://www.creme-delicious.com
- Lush Nuts. Delicious Spanish peanuts in six different, unique flavors like Dark Cocoa Chili , Cinnamon Spice, and Hot Curry. Individual packs are $7 and gift boxes range from $12 to $40. www.lushgourmetfoods.com
- Equal Exchange Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa. Cocoa with cinnamon and cayenne pepper for an added kick. Made from organic cacao from small-scale farmers in the Dominican Republic and organic sugar cane from small-scale farmers in Paraguay. $29.99 for a pack of three. http://www.greencupboards.com/equal-exchange-organic-spicy-hot-cocoa-12-oz-pack-of-3/p/
- Antidote Chocolate Bars. Dark chocolate from Ecuador with unusual flavor pairings like Lavender + Red Salt, Banana + Cayenne, Almond + Fennel. Each bar is named for a Greek Goddess and includes a message of empowerment. 3 bars are $19.50 www.antidotechoco.com.
- Nature’s Path Love Crunch. Organic granola with dark chocolate and red berries, organic cocoa, flax, and coconut. $4.49 http://us.naturespath.com/product/love-crunchr-dark-chocolate-red-berries
- Madyson’s Marshmallows. Lovely heart-shaped marshmallows, perfect for your sweetheart’s hot drink or your kid’s cocoa. Also chocolate & marshmallow pops for lovers everywhere. $1.75 up http://www.MadysonsMarshmallows.com
- Isabella’s Cookies. All-natural, with wholesome ingredients, like real butter and no preservatives. Cookies come in a bag of 5 “bites” for $3.75 and a bag of 10 for $6.50. http://isabellascookies.com
- Harbor Sweets Hearts Handbag. A fashionista conversation piece with 12 Solid Hearts in 6 milk and 6 dark chocolate, $12.95. http://www.harborsweets.com/Valentine-Handbag/products/283/
- Le Bon Garçon. Three signature flavors of artisanal caramel: Salted, Macadamia Nut, and Mango-Passion Fruit. Gift boxes are $15 (4 oz.) and $27 (8 oz.), and bags range from $6-24. www.lebongarcon.com
- Edible Arrangements. Fresh fruit bouquets or an assortment of chocolate dipped fruit make a great, and delicious, Valentine’s Day gift. $29. http://www.ediblearrangements.com/fruit-baskets.aspx?CategoryID=86&Section= 1
- Champagne Gummy Bears. These cute little gummy bears are infused with classic Brut or fashionable Rose champagne. $9
- Senor Rio Tequila Blanco. Described as clean and crisp with an appealing hint of citrus that you pick up on the back of your palate. Rating of 90+ from Wine Enthusiast. It’s good! $49.99 http://senorrio.com/
- Flavor Teaze Coffee and Cookie Gift Box. This gift box is customizable to fit your gift recipient’s personality. No matter what you choose, they are sure to love the handmade cookies, bag of freshly roasted whole bean coffee, and ceramic black mug. $40.00. http://www.flavorteaze.com/Coffee-and-Cookie-Gift-Box-p/gt-06.htm
- Marlo Wright Raspberry Drizzle Wine. Raspberry Drizzle
is a blush wine, with subtle hints of Raspberry. Wright’s Fruit Wine Collection is all natural, no sugar added, and fruit infused.
- French Macaroons. Authentic and delicious, and available in 16 gluten-free flavors. $58. http://macarons.rocqgroup.com
- Rodial Glam Lip Balm. Rose-flavored lip balm volumizes while soothing chapped lips. $25 at Nordstrom. www.nordstrom.com.
- LaLicious Sugar Kiss Collection. All natural, luxurious, thick body butter, body oil, body scrub, and whipped body soap. $18-$34. www.LaLicious.com.
- Primavera’s Revitalizing Rose Pomegranate Starter Kit for maturing skin, helps promote cell renewal, evens skin tone and helps fight free radical damage. $20 and up. http://www.primaveralife.com
- ChapStick Cupcake Creations. Brand new limited edition ChapStick in Cake Batter and Velvet Cupcake flavors. They’re in Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens until March 31st, 2013. Each flavor is sold separately and packaging includes a convenient gift tag. The Cupcake Creations retail for about $1-$1.99
- Dirty Knees Soap. A soap for the manly man. A nice woodsy smell, like you want a man to smell. $6.00 http://dirtykneessoap.com/products/minnesota-wood
- Del Sol Nail Polish. Color-changing nail polish is fun. Each nail polish changes color outdoors with sunlight in seconds and then returns to its original color indoors without sunlight. Lots of fun shades, $10 each. http://www.delsol.com/eSource/ecom/eSource/items/items-2-S1-lV12-lV215.aspx?store=>
- Olivita Soaps. Virgin olive oil beauty bars and personal care from the Mediterranean. No artificial foaming or coloring agents, and no floral smell. $5.99 each. http://www.olivitasoaps.com/soaps.php
- Swoozies Double Link Bracelet with round chiseled gold-tone matte brass pendant charm. $35. http://swoozies.com/store/category/26125/Valentines-Day-2013/263898/Double-link-bracelet-with-chiseled-gold-tone-pendant
- FO2 EcoWear. Eco-friendly, biodegradable bracelets that are also plantable! Each piece is filled with seeds so, after wearing it, you can plant it to celebrate a friendship or relationship. Check online to see what kind of flowers will grow. Bracelet can be worn for years before planting and retail for $10. http://www.futureoxygen.us/valentines-day/
- Happiness Necklace. Sterling Silver. Pendant Size: 1.5″ long x 1/4″ high Chain Length: 17″ $40. http://www.alefbet.com/happiness-necklace.html
- New York Shaving Company Kit. Kits come with a genuine badger-hair brush, pre-shave oil, shave cream, and after-shave balm, all in a travel-ready TSA compliant zip-up bag. All of NYSC shave products are made in Brooklyn, NY. Kits start at $28. http://www.nyshavingcompany.com
- Clark Dopp Kit. Travel kit with a structured frame pops open to reveal a lined interior and an extra zippered compartment along the bottom. The burnished faux leather exterior will look good on any man in your life. $45. http://www.gigihillbags.com/PublicStore/stores/homeoffice/product/Clark,721,203.aspx
- Wren & Glory Handmade Silk Wrap Bracelet with or without a silver heart charm. Chic and simple. Also works on ankle, neck, and hair. Pink silk is $12 + heart charm for $36. Dimensions 3′ x 1/2″ Hot Pink. http://www.wrenglory.com/wraps/hot-pink-silk/
- Teleflora Flowers Ruby Rapture. The standard bouquet includes red and lavender roses, hot pink carnations and assorted fresh greens, and goes for $49.95. http://www.teleflora.com/flowers/bouquet/telefloras-ruby-rapture-bouquet-497966p.asp
- Homoquotables LGBT Greeting Cards. Elegant black & white images paired with memorable and historic quotes about love. $3. http://www.Homoquotables.com
- Heartfelt Books. Personalized gift books that tell what it is you love about your Valentine. User selects questions to answer based on the relationship type and the result is a hardbound book that makes a great gift. Books ship the same day as long as they are submitted by 1pm ET. They’re 49.99 (and a Facebook fan coupon will get you $10 off). www.HeartfeltBooks.com
- What-I-Love-About-You Book. This cute little book contains a fill-in-
the-blank line describing some aspect of your affection for the recipient. Fill it in, and you create a gift to be treasured. Best of all, you choose how romantic, funny, or sexy it’s going to be. $10.00 http://www.knockknockstuff.com/catalog/categories/books-other-words/what-i-love-about-you-book-journal/
- YourCover.com. A personalized magazine cover starring the one you love. Each headline is customized to be about why you love your Valentine! Pricing starts at $12.95 for the photo file download, or the cover can be framed and mailed to you for $19.95+. www.YourCover.com
- Fox Run Craftsmen 4″ Non-Stick Linked Heart Pan. Mix up a batch of your favorite cake, brownie, cookies, or even pancakes and give them to the ones you love this Valentine’s Day with this 5-pack heart pan set. $12.99. http://www.wayfair.com/Fox-Run-Craftsmen-4-Non-Stick-Linked-Heart-Pan-Set-of-5-4460-FRU1071.html
- Red Heart Candle 13 oz. Hand-jeweled red crystal heart on black glass. Matching black hand-jeweled gift box makes gift wrapping unnecessary. $24. http://www.glitzeeglee.com/product/CNDL-RDHEART-01
- Brut & Baroque Heart-shaped Sachets. Each heart-shaped sachet is made with vintage linen and filled with 100% pure French lavender. Hearts are individually hand crafted and unique $11. www.etsy.com/shop/brutetbaroque
- PetFlow’s “Spoiled Rotten” Box. A monthly gift club for pet parents. Every month, your pet will be sent a box of treats, toys and accessories. Every edible product is made in America. Each box contains approximately $40 worth of products for $24.99 a month. http://www.petflow.com