What Women Want
You hope to get your sweetheart something special for Valentine’s Day, but picking that just-right gift can be daunting. Jewelry is a typical go-to choice, but there are other options that may be more appropriate and personal for the special woman in your life.
“Valentine’s Day is a time to express how you feel about your relationship,” says Dana Holmes, editor-in-chief of gift recommendation website Gifts.com. “Giving something cliché can send the wrong message. Tap into your creative side and see the sparks fly no matter what you spend.”
Here, then, are 10 great gift ideas to consider, with a few specific product recommendations for each. Whatever you decide, remember that a little bit of thought goes a long way.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand, but you don’t have to buy those prosaic truffle boxes to tickle her sweet tooth.
Cake pops, for instance, are a tasty and trendy dessert these days – and since they’re small, she won’t feel guilty indulging. You can order a dozen dipped in chocolate and decorated for Valentine’s Day from Shari’s Berries for $39.99.
Another creative idea are these romantic fortune cookies, also from Shari’s Berries, which are dipped in chocolate and contain love-themed messages ($29.99 for a dozen). For a romantic night in, consider this chocolate fondue kit from Godiva ($42).
If you’re looking to spend a bit less but still impress, try dipping your own strawberries in chocolate from your kitchen. For an extra touch you can add red and white sprinkles.
Photo Credit: Shari’s Berries
Fun & Games
If your Valentine is a playful type who is up for a challenge, consider getting her a fun, romance-themed game.
One option is autoMagical Lovopoly PicturePlay ($34.95), which takes photos from your Facebook account and creates a board game with them. “It’s perfect for showing how your relationship has progressed over the years with special memories and simple moments,” Holmes says.
If you feel that she’s your “missing puzzle piece,” how about getting her an actual puzzle to show your affection? The Spoon Sisters, for instance, offers a 500-piece puzzle in the form of a heart-shaped pile of candy hearts for $15.95.
For some friendly competition – and the chance to get to know each other better – get her Do You Know Your Wife? Do You Know Your Husband? – A Quiz About Your Mate, $11.90 from The Spoon Sisters. Warning: Secrets will be revealed, such as whether she closes the bathroom door when no one is home.
Photo Credit: The Spoon Sisters
If you want your love to grow – literally – forgo those long-stemmed roses that wilt quickly and get her a beautiful potted plant instead.
One option is the Year of Seeds from RedEnvelope for $79.95. It comes with 12 packets of seeds, including petunias, marigolds and pansies, 12 candy-colored earthenware pots each featuring an illustration of the corresponding flower and a bag of soil.
If she enjoys the exotic touch and a bit of tinkering, consider getting her this juniper bonsai tree from RedEnvelope ($29.95), which comes in an 8-inch ceramic pot.
You can also browse the potted offerings on proflowers.com, such as the Gourmet Herb Garden ($39.99), which includes four assorted potted herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano and parsley that can be used for cooking– or just to add a nice aroma to her kitchen.
Photo Credit: RedEnvelope
Buying her a bottle of wine may sound unoriginal, but you can give it a unique, loving touch by personalizing it with your own custom message through PersonalizationMall.com ($74.95). Available in three romance-themed designs, each bottle is hand painted, and you can choose either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot from Echo Falls Winery in Madera, Calif.
If she likes variety, another option is to get her a selection of smaller bottles, such as this international wine sampler from Chef Mario Batali for $32.99 at TastingRoom.com. The sampler includes six 50-ml bottles of varieties such as Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and John Duval Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in Australia.
Photo Credit: PersonalizationMall.com
Candles are another popular gift for women that may seem generic, but they don’t have to be if they feature an artistic and creative touch.
The Year of Love candles from RedEnvelope ($59.99) is a gift full of surprises. First, she’ll open up a red box with chocolate-covered ribbons and discover 12 smaller boxes containing metallic-flecked ivory candles, one for each month of the year. The lid of each box is printed with a love-related word and its definition, and after burning each candle she’ll find a gold-colored charm that can be added to a key chain or charm bracelet.
For something even more personal, PersonalCreations.com offers the chance to write your own message (up to 25 characters) that is laser-engraved on a mirrored glass candle holder. Called the Love Eternity Candle, it costs $14.99 and contains three glass cups to hold small tea-light candles.
Photo Credit: RedEnvelope
Between hectic jobs and busy family lives, women today often have few opportunities to enjoy time just for themselves. To help your lovely lady relax and de-stress after a long day, consider buying her a sumptuous spa basket.
Price points in this category abound, so you should be able to find something special no matter how much you’re willing to spend. On the lower-end of the price spectrum is the Hand Repair Kit from Burt’s Bees ($13) – a must-have in the winter. It comes with lemon butter cuticle cream, almond milk beeswax hand cream, shea butter hand repair cream and cotton gloves.
Another option is the Vanilla Orchids Spa Tray from Alder Creek Gift Baskets ($24.95), which features a bar of soap, bath salts, bubble bath and body cream.
If you’re looking to spend a bit more, consider the Honey Spa Treatment basket from GiftTree.com ($79.95), which includes French-milled soap from Gianna Rose Atelier, bath bee capsules containing sunflower oils enhanced with extracts of bee balm, royal jelly and bee pollen, a silk eye pillow, a 4-inch beeswax pillar candle and more.
Photo Credit: Alder Creek Gift Baskets
To show her how much you really love that photo she took on your day trip to the beach or vacation to the Grand Canyon, send the photo to allPopart.com, where the company can turn it into art on canvas that can be proudly displayed on your walls. Just head to the website, choose your style (such as “Warhol style” or “watercolor sketch”), upload your photo, approve the design, and the artwork will be sent to you by mail. Costs vary depending on the style you choose, so check out the price list on the company’s website to help make your decision.
Photo Credit: allPopart
Material presents aren’t the only option for Valentine’s Day – you can also show how much you care by giving her the gift of an experience.
The website Cloud9Living.com offers a bevy of choices, such as walking food tours, scenic helicopter tours, cooking classes, glass-blowing lessons and more. The website allows you to filter results based on region, so you can find what’s available either in your hometown or at another city where you might be vacationing.
You can find additional choices at Gifts.com. Just go to www.gifts.com/ideas/experiential, and you’ll be shown a map of the U.S. Click your region to find a variety of experiential gifts offered in those areas.
Photo Credit: Cloud 9 Living
If she’s a tech lover, how about giving her a stylish accessory to go with her favorite gadget? You'll find an abundance of options for less than $50, so they’re also a great gift if you’re not looking to spend a bundle.
You can browse several great choices on Zappos.com, such as brightly colored e-reader sleeves from Vera Bradley, a floral-print laptop sleeve from Fossil for $35, and this bright orange tablet case for the iPad and iPad 2 from Built NY for $39.99.
Or for a good laugh, get her the ’80s Cell Phone Case ($20) from UrbanOutfitters.com.
And to make sure she can still text you romantic messages on her smartphone even when it’s chilly outside, get her these touchscreen gloves from Agloves, which you can buy for $19.99 on Amazon.com.
Photo Credit: Zappos.com
Gifts for a Good Cause
Of course, the sweetest gift is something that helps others, and you can do just that by getting your loved one a present from a company or organization that donates a portion of the sale to charity.
The site GoodShop.com allows you to donate a percentage of the proceeds of the item you purchase to your favorite charity or school. The site partners with more than 2,400 retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, 1-800 Flowers, Best Buy and more. The percentage donated varies by retailer but averages approximately 3% of the total sale and can go up to 30%.
Photo Credit: GoodShop.com
Lovers who feel particularly ambitious this Valentine’s Day should consider whisking their sweetie away on a romantic getaway to celebrate the holiday. For ideas, check out our roundup of 10 affordable destinations to rekindle your romance without breaking the bank.
Photo Credit: Arthur Chapman
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Kristin Colella is a writer/editor for MainStreet. You can follow her on Twitter at @KrisColella.
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