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Let’s get straight to the point: Valentine’s Day is a fake Hallmark holiday full of terrible gifts that everyone ends up throwing out in mid-March.
Before you start to troll, this is coming from someone who loves Valentine’s Day! It’s fun, it’s romantic and everything is pink and red and sappy. Heart-shaped pizzas? I could die at the charm! Still, it’s a marketing scheme that we buy into every year. So let me help you beat Valentine’s Day at its own game.
It’s easy to lean into the generic gifts that come with Valentine’s Day, but how about taking things up a notch this year? Let’s make a pact to throw aside the soapy-tasting drugstore chocolates and red roses that look more plastic than flower. In fact, let’s go through all of the worst Valentine’s Day gifts and banish them forever.
Obviously, if the person you’re shopping for specifically asks for one of these gifts or you feel super passionate about them, go right ahead. But here are the five worst Valentine’s Day gifts out there that need to die, plus unique gifts you can buy instead.
Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts
1. Heart-shaped jewelry
It’s time to give this one a rest. Think about how many people you see actually wearing heart-shaped jewelry. Yup, basically zero because it’s gimmicky and tacky. And you want to give a gift that they’ll want to keep, right? Thought so!
Instead, buy simple and timeless jewelry
Jewelry is tough because everyone wants it, but it’s easy to miss the mark. To be safe, stick to simple pieces that will always be in style. These earrings from the Internet-famous brand Mejuri are durable and come in both 18K gold vermeil and sterling silver.
Mejuri Croissant Dôme Hoops, $58 – $78
2. Generic flowers
Look, we’re not saying to avoid buying all flowers — flowers are great and should be Valentine’s Day gifts. We’re talking about the plastic-looking red roses that wilt in two days. You’re essentially saying that you put zero thought into this gift, which is the last thing you want.
Instead, buy a chic and long-lasting flower
Ditch the grocery store and hit up your neighborhood florist to create a personalized bouquet. Or, if you really want to win Valentine’s, buy a more meaningful gift. An orchid can last for years with the proper care.
You can also keep with the V-Day theme and gift something from the popular brand Venus Et Fleur, like the preserved Le Clair Un Eternity Rose. Beautifully packaged, the rose lasts up to one year.
3. Drugstore chocolates
Like generic roses, candy is, more often than not, the go-to gift. But it’s so safe and boring! Also, the chocolates are usually gross. Sorry, not sorry.
Instead, gift them a cooking class
A cooking class is such a good gift. Why give cheap chocolates that taste meh when you can learn to bake more fun desserts to perfection? Whether it’s online via a MasterClass subscription or in person at places like Sur La Table, the two of you are guaranteed to have a good time.
Sur La Table Cooking and Baking Classes, price varies
MasterClass Online Class Subscription, $15/month
Here’s a general life lesson: Only buy someone perfume they specifically ask for. Scents are so personal, and you don’t want to mess with that. Plus, allergies and skin irritation are a real thing.
Instead, buy a reed diffuser
Not only are reed diffusers more exciting than candles, but they’re also aesthetically stunning and make any home smell divine. This NEST New York one features notes of rosewater, geranium and salted amber.
5. A spa-day gift basket
Remember what we said about generic gifts without any thought? Yeah, that includes the pre-packaged spa gift baskets full of sheet masks and bubble baths. Honestly, they’ll never get through the whole basket — especially if they’re precious about skin care — and it will just take up space.
Plus, there’s just so much plastic involved, and the world is dying. Let’s just not, OK?
Instead, buy spa bathroom accessories
Your head is in the right place with a spa day, but actual spa days can be wildly expensive. So why not bring the spa to them? There are so many things out there that can transform a meh-looking bathroom into a luxe spa, like relaxing shower steamers or a bath caddy.
West Elm Eldred Bath Caddy, $29.99 – $44.99 (Orig. $85)
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