Alt Valentine Gifts: Thinking Outside the Box (of Chocolates)

Valentine’s Day is next week, meaning you have seven days to conjure up a nice little expression of love for your boo/main squeeze/honeypie/better half/significant otter. Since you have a whole seven days, you might as well put in a little effort into the matter, and really get your loved one jazzed on you. Here are a few ideas for shaking up the most romantic of Hallmark holidays.

Hectic schedules can make it hard to grab good alone time with your punkin’, so make your gift all about you two. Give your partner a sick day coupon, so at their request you call in sick, and the two of you can have a free day that coincides, for once. Or spend the actual 14th like any other day, and plan the real Valentine event for next week or month (when all the other romantics have cleared out) and really go wild with something more exciting, like a trip out of town. Instead of just hiring a babysitter for a dinner out on actual V-Day, push back the date a bit, arrange for a sitter, and hire a housecleaner for 2 hours of work or so—trust me, it will pay off big time when you/your partner can relax more at the romantic dinner, totally free of domestic concerns.

For the less wholesome (read this through cracked fingers if that’s not you), x-nay on the lingerie—which, unless it’s been approved already, can be self-esteem busting—and go with more innocuous items that kink up wonderfully, like a set of nice silk ties (blindfold, restraints; use your imagination), or ingredients to a yummy recipe that tastes good in the dish or streaked all over the sheets. If your partner enjoys mysteries, arrange a treasure hunt that leads them all over town (especially cute if they visit spots meaningful to your relationship), and finally to you, preferably naked or darn close to it. Because let’s be honest, sex really is the best V-Day present. (You can uncrack your fingers now.)

For those crazy romantics who love their Valentine’s Day with extra cheese, you can name a star after your loved one, child (obviously your most beautiful creation together, amirite?), or inside joke. (Naming a star is a romantic gesture and not scientifically official—no matter what the certificate says—so don’t break the bank on it.) Alongside that beautiful bouquet of flowers, give your partner a hardy potted plant, with the hope that your love will keep growing with it (awww). Also good: a homemade meal, a couple glasses of the expensive stuff, and a handwritten poem in your absolute best writing. If you’ve got a fireplace, light it up.

If none of this is ringing your bell, obviously you just need to drown yourselves in candy. You can go for quantity, quality, or nostalgia (Market of Choice has an amazing selection of all three). If that’s too easy, refill your printer ink and turn that sugary stuff into a zombie apocalypse survival kit: Trust me, the Samwise to your Frodo (Zelda to your F. Scott?) will definitely want to keep you around.

by Mica Habarad

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