February is the month of pink and red hearts, and chocolates and flowers. Even though it occurs in the same month on the same day every year, it never fails that someone realizes at the last minute they have neglected to buy their valentine a gift or forgotten to make appropriately romantic plans for the evening.
The fear and anxiety set in—what to do? Where to go? What do you mean every restaurant in the area is already booked or you can’t get that item shipped in time? Procrastinators rejoice! There are solutions to your red, pink, and chocolate covered dilemma. Most of them require little effort and can be had for an affordable price.
First, you can consult with the queen of “do-it-yourself,” Martha Stewart. Just a short online search and I discovered Stewart has a plethora of ideas at her fingertips. From candy flower vases to cut-out heart marshmallows for hot cocoa, she provides a lot of tiny touches that would melt any heart.
You can generally find reasonably priced supplies to make your valentine the perfect gift at your local craft store. Handmade cards, jewelry, a drawing or painting, or even a handmade book of “Love coupons” are always good ideas, and the fact you took the time to make it adds meaning to the gift. Some craft stores provide instructions for crafts in-store or online, so let your imagination run wild and make your own gift.
Not the artsy type? Maybe cooking is more your speed? From homemade candy to baked goods or even a three-course meal, recipes are easily accessed on the internet for the kitchen gourmet and provides thousands of ideas from the simple to the intricate. Chocolate molds provide a simple way to make your significant other beautiful, yummy treats. Almost anyone likes cookies, muffins, cupcakes or pies, and you can be as creative as you like with their decoration.
Finally, you can piece together a salad, soup, main entrée and desert meal from different recipes, or look online for pre-created couples’ meals for ideas. Either way, your valentine will love the food and appreciate the time you put into making it.
If time is of the essence, try subscriptions to their favorite magazines or streaming services. Paying for a month or more of Netflix, Kindle, Audible or Spotify might be the perfect gift. You could also try a subscription to a shaving club or something like Ipsy or Birchbox, services that provide different makeup and skin care samples monthly.
Gift cards can be found easily at most large chain stores or at the specific store for more local locations. Whether you valentine loves coffee, food, or clothing, you can find a gift card to meet most any need.
For the Valentine that has everything, a donation to their favorite cause or charity is a viable option. Most of these provide printable certificates you can give in lieu of a gift, allowing you to do a good deed and provide a thoughtful present.
And finally, there’s Amazon, the savior of the last-minute shopper, offering two-day delivery on most goods. The best part— you can have it sent directly to your valentine if they live far away. Amazon provides access to all the essentials, like flowers, chocolate and jewelry, as well as providing more original options —a Lego dog, heart shaped cookware or a five-pound red gummy bear.
In the end, it’s the thought that counts. Just acknowledging your significant other is the most important part of Valentine’s Day, not the amount of money you spent on a gift.
Last year I was lucky enough to get a beautiful necklace and a set of coffee cups. I love the necklace, but it was the coffee cups that meant the most. He knew I loved “Star Wars,” and the cups, which we use to drink coffee together every morning, have Luke and Leia on them. In the end, it’s the memories, and not the material things, that matter most.