It's the most romantic time of year. Chocolates and bright red cards fill the grocery store aisles, restaurants are reserved three months in advance and you're frantically searching for the kind of gift that could possibly express how much the special people in your life really mean to you.
Okay, lighten up: This is supposed to be a joyful holiday, not a pressure cooker. The people who matter are going to be thrilled with any gift you give them, so why not have some fun with it?
From... fashion-forward accessories to top-of-the-line tech, we've pulled together an assortment of the best Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't come in a heart-shaped box (though one of those never goes unappreciated!).
01 of 09
Since Valentine's Day is all about love, it makes perfect sense to celebrate one of the best couplings to ever exist: chocolate and peanut butter. This sampler from Mouth lets you ditch that classic box of assorted chocolates to give a few treats that anyone would appreciate.
Every box contains chocolate- and peanut butter-laden sweets made in small batches by independent producers. The bacon peanut butter cups hail from Black Pig Meat Co. in Healdsburg, California and use pork from... antibiotic- and hormone-free heritage breed pigs. The cups have a crunchy piece of chicharron (yes, pork rinds!) encased in peanut butter, enrobed in chocolate, and topped with smoked salt flakes. The maple peanut butter chocolate bar — from Fixx Chocolates in Cohasset, Massachusetts — layers smooth peanut butter nougat, maple-infused caramel and tiny pieces of chewy Applewood bacon to satisfy those sweet-salty cravings. The kitchen sink bar, made by Mayana Chocolate in Spooner, Wisconsin, tops crisped rice, peanut butter and pretzels with salted caramel and rich dark chocolate (a significant upgrade from the candy bars of your childhood). And, lastly, the chocolate-covered peanut butter cookies come directly from Mouth itself.
02 of 09
Plants instantly liven up a drab space, but they can be hard to maintain. That’s where air plants save the day. These little houseplants grow and thrive without any soil at all. They attach their roots to rocks and survive solely on nutrients from the air, sun and water. And the best part? These decorative plants are almost impossible to kill. Reviewers without a green thumb say the plants plumped up and looked great once they took a 15-minute dip in some water. (They need to be watered only... once a week.)
This kit comes with three plants and crystals to display them in. You'll get an amethyst cluster, a piece of rose quartz, and a crystal geode. Just glue each plant to a stone to create a vibrant display. Each plant and crystal is tiny — around 2” — so the set can easily fit on a small windowsill or table to brighten the mood.
Give this low-maintenance gift to someone who needs extra greenery around but doesn’t have time to tend to a garden.
03 of 09
It doesn't matter who the woman in your life is — mom, wife, girlfriend, sister, friend — she'll love this customizable necklace. Made from gold-plated metal, the round pendant has a personalized initial on one side and a sweet "one in a million" message on the other. The necklace has a classic style that makes it great for both everyday wear and special occasions.
Reviewers love the double-sided aspect to the necklace because they can choose to display the initial or the special... message whenever they want. They also appreciate that they can make the 17” chain shorter or longer (with a 3” extender) to go with their outfits for that day. Plus, the necklace looks luxe even though it’s completely budget-friendly.
04 of 09
Dinner is ready, the table is set, and your friends (or a date!) are on their way. There’s only one thing left to do: open the wine. But instead of suavely popping the cork, you embarrassingly shred it after multiple attempts with the corkscrew. We’ve been there. Help friends and family save face in the same situation by getting them this automatic wine opener.
The Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener uses a single push of a button to pull out a cork in seconds. It also has a helpful foil... cutter to remove those tricky seals. It opens 30 bottles of wine on a single charge and has a sleek design that matches most kitchen decor.
And if you're planning on opening a bottle a wine this Valentine's Day (to keep the romance alive), this gift should come in handy from the second it's unwrapped.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
There’s a reason that face masks are all over Instagram these days: they make great selfie material and leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed. And the face mask trend isn’t limited to just one type. Sheet masks share the spotlight with everything from charcoal masks to Korean slice masks (look them up!). With every conceivable mask soaring in popularity, it makes sense to get the lady (or man) in your life a set that includes one for every occasion.
This Mask-a-Holic Kit comes with five... popular masks that work for any skin type. The cucumber gel mask hydrates and calms dry skin. The 24K gold mask (another great selfie opportunity) firms up skin and gets rid of fine lines. The Irish Moor mud mask removes dirt and oil while putting vitamins and minerals back into the skin. The pumpkin enzyme mask exfoliates enzymatically, manually and chemically to brighten skin. And, lastly, the 24K gold gel eye patches melt away puffiness and crow’s feet in less than 10 minutes.
Anyone — from a mask beginner to a hardcore beauty addict — will have fun experimenting with this set.
06 of 09
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romance, flowers and chocolate boxes. Sometimes you need a gift that says, "You're really fun" and not "Let's get married someday." If you want to celebrate the holiday with friends (or need an activity for Galentine’s Day), this card game is the perfect gift to kick off the night.
Exploding Kittens is the Russian Roulette of card games. Players draw cards until they get an exploding kitten, which knocks them out of the game... unless they have a card that can defuse the bomb. The goal is to use your cards to avoid the exploding kittens and stay in the game as long as possible. Along the way, players will get cute character cards, like a taco cat, and they’ll use strategic thinking to make their friends explode first.
07 of 09
Unless you're being served breakfast in bed, Valentine's Day starts just like any other day: stumbling around with your eyes closed until you can get your hands on that first cup of coffee. If the special people in your life all love a great cup of joe as much as you do, get them the perfect pour-over coffeemaker. To make this the ideal gift, throw in a pack of Chemex coffee filters and a bag of high-quality beans.
The pour-over process takes a little time, but the end result is bold,... rich coffee without that burnt or bitter taste that drip coffee is known for. Plus, the Chemex sports a polished wooden collar and a leather tie around its glass neck, and that just screams "classy."
08 of 09
By now your friends and family know at least one person with an Amazon Echo product in their home and might already be considering getting one, too. Give them the gift of this plucky personal assistant, now neatly decked out in heather gray to add a touch of style to any countertop. All they need to do is plug in the Echo and download the app, and pretty soon they'll be asking Alexa for a flash briefing and a rundown of their day's calendar appointments.
No, they won't be able to ask... Alexa for a Valentine's Day foot massage, but they can ask her to rock some Michael Bublé and set a timer so they know when their wine is finished decanting. And nothing says “I love you” like a glass of Cab Sauv and the chorus of "Just Haven't Met You Yet."Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
It's the age-old question: Should you buy that new watch in rose gold or gunmetal gray? There's no need to choose with this beautiful bracelet watch from Michael Kors. The gunmetal gray band and watch-face background will blend well with any outfit, while the rose gold watch hands and accents make this a stand-out timepiece. Dress it up or dress it down: It's elegant enough to wear to a formal event, but not so flashy that you wouldn't wear it on a walk in the park. With just... the right balance between casual and classy, this is a perfect daytime-nighttime timepiece.
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