Monday, February 05, 2007

Valentine's Day Gift and Card Ideas

I haven't been thinking about Valentine's Day much... first, I've never cared much about Hallmark holidays, and this year I don't have to find or organize something special with my boyfriend. We're planning on exchanging cards and having dinner at our favorite restaurant, but we're holding off on gifts because we're saving up for a weekend trip to Montreal in April, to celebrate my 21st birthday and our 2 year anniversary (so excited!).

But of course, I still wanted to write a post with card and gift recommendations, so here are some of my ideas:

I think Valentine's Day is the perfect time to tell or show someone how much you appreciate and love them, and it doesn't have you be your significant other. If you're single and you find V-day depressing, why not ask a good friend to be your valentine. Go out for a nice dinner together, send each other flowers, and use the holiday as an excuse to have fun with someone you care about (even if it's not romantic). Some of my favorite and most memorable Valentine's Days involved going out with a group of friends, or inviting a bunch of people over for some wine and cheese (you can invite all your single friends, male and female, and play matchmaker).

But if you do have a significant other to celebrate with, there are lots of fun gift ideas that are sure to please any guy.

First, you can't go wrong with something sweet. As I've mentioned before, I like to give homemade cookies and brownies as gifts, though more ambitious types and cupcake lovers should check out the Cupcake Bakeshop's selection of fun, original cupcake recipes that are sure to impress. But if you're not the baking type, there are tons of options at your local bakery, chocolate shop and online.

Brownie lover? Try Mari's, featuring flavors from the classic chocolate brownie (made with premium dark chocolate and Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract) to Thai Coffee and Heat (with ancho and chipotle peppers for some extra kick.

You can't go wrong with truffles, but to take decadence to a new level, check out Vosges's famous truffles which come in every flavor you'd ever want.

Like it hot? Zingerman's Dark Spanish Drinking Chocolate is one of the best gourmet hot chocolates you can buy, and advertises itself as the sexiest beverage on earth.

Not a chocolate fan? Try these French Fleur de Sel caramels for a sweet, salty, savory treat.

In addition to homemade or thoughtfully store bought sweets, a card is a must, and it's easy to find something cooler and more personal than your regular Hallmark card. For a card that nearly doubles as a piece of art, check out Design*Sponge's suggestions for Valentine's Day cards here and here.

But if you're feeling crafty, why not try making your own card to tell that special someone just how you feel about them. Whether you use crayons or oil paint, use doodles or just write out a message on a folded piece of cardstock, you can be sure that your time, thought and creativity will really impress. Here's an earlier post I wrote on buying and making cards with a few extra tips.

If you have any other ideas for great gifts, or stories about the best gifts you've given or received on Valentine's Day, share them in the comment section, I'd love to hear them!

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