Even though Valentine’s Day is only a few days away, there’s still time to get your special someone that special something. In efforts to veer away from the cliché gifts, crowded restaurants and packed showings of “Fifty Shades” this weekend, check out our top picks for unique ways to show you care.
1. Go the personalized route
Normally when you think of personalized gifts, you think of traditional jewelry and accessory items. Say hello to the sweeter side: M&Ms. Via its website, Mars, Incorporated offers you the opportunity to choose, design and package the candy-coated sweets for your sweet and have them arrive just in time to beat Cupid’s arrow. If you’re more interested in jewelry or trinkets with monogrammed messages and the like, retailers like Things Remembered and online gift source Etsy also have what you’re looking for.
2. Let someone else do the cooking…but stay at home
For years, people have said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, the same may indeed be true for the fairer sex, especially if someone else is preparing the meal and doing the dishes after. For a unique alternative to restaurant fare, consider having a culinary experience come to you, like the Atlanta-based Nikki Can Cook. Started by former Food Network America’s Best Chef contestant and foodie Nikki Bell, Nikki Can Cook offers a multicourse meal and complimentary cocktails to infuse a bit of romance and creativity into your Valentine’s Day or evening via the #ForYouMyLove Brunch or Dinner options, all at a reasonable price. For more information on Bell’s services, check out her site here, and click on over to your favorite search engine to find similar deals in your area.
3. Send a REAL message
Got a Valentine that’s close to your heart, but miles away? Not a problem. Instead of paying to send flowers or candy with a card that may not truly express your feelings, send Lil’ Mib instead. Created in 2011 by Richard Upchurch, the handmade Lil’ Mib (Message in A Box) gives you the opportunity to record the perfect 30-second message to your mate, friends or family—whether it be a line from your favorite sonnet, a quick “I love you” or a showcase of your human beatbox skills…or not. Check out a video featuring Lil' Mib here.
4. For Him: Think “Crates”
Man Crates, that is. Considering how tough it can be to get a gift for the guy in your life that isn’t too sappy or touchy-feely, utility with a bit of rugged kitsch is always a great way to go. With its affordable authentic wooden crates that come complete with a crowbar for opening, Man Crates has your guy covered as the break-out hit of your Valentine’s Day, whether he’s into whiskey, cigars, survival gear, coffee, exotic meats or old school nostalgia. For the gentleman in your life, Man Crates also offers the “Clean Shave Crate” complete with a classic shave kit and quality products to keep his face kissable and loveable just for you.
5. For Her: Get Sentimental
Living in an age where smartphones and tablets provide the bulk of what we read, many women really appreciate paper-based gifts that convey messages of love and affection. Consider grabbing one of Diva Pyari’s Love Letter Kits and writing heartfelt messages to your lady WITHOUT having to hit “Send” afterward. Or, give the gift of a book she can’t read on the Kindle or the iPad, like the Heart Book Box. Conceptualized by artist Talia Halliday with antique touches, this handmade present not only gives you the chance to write your own special inscription, but to include another gift in the box’s heart-shaped cut out, making this an option she can keep and treasure long after that bouquet of fruit is gone. Remember: sentiment will carry you farther this Valentine’s Day than convenient, run of the mill gifts will.
With these selections, we hope we’ve inspired you maximize the time you have left to get that unique gift that will make your Valentine’s day both meaningful and memorable. Now get shopping!