With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you might already be floundering for gift ideas. But fortunately, showing someone that you care doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, thoughtful and inexpensive gestures can sometimes be more valuable that breaking the bank.
This Valentine’s Day, show whomever is important to you that you’re thinking of them with one of these special surprises:
1. Throw a Galentine’s Day Brunch
Valentine’s Day also doesn’t just need to be for those of us with significant others—the rise of Galentine’s Day demonstrates that February can be a great way to celebrate love in all of its forms. Why not invite your friends over for a special brunch to mark your relationship—paper hearts, confetti, and balloons are an inexpensive way to theme your party, and you could even crack open some bubbles to make things extra celebratory.
2. Make a photo album
Instead of giving a store-bought gift, try putting together a photo album of your best memories with your significant other. This is a perfect way to remind someone of how special your time together has been, and your partner will surely appreciate the extra effort that you’ve gone to to craft the perfect present.
3. Gift a cookie jar filled with your loved one’s best qualities
Although showing love is the goal of Valentine’s Day, feeling loved feels pretty great too. For a simple-yet-effective way of making your partner or loved ones feel special, fill a cookie jar with short notes describing their best qualities. You could let them pick out a couple on the big day itself, and then tell them to save the rest to read one by one if they’re having a bad day or need a pick-me-up.
4. Write a love letter
In an age of digital communication it can be easy to condense all of our thoughts into short messages, but love letters didn’t last for centuries for no reason. Bring some old-school romance back into your relationship by writing your loved one a letter telling them how you feel and all of your favorite things about them.
5. Text them to tell them that they’re on your mind
If long-form isn’t really your style, you can still bring a love letter into the modern day. Send your partner or friend a message out of the blue to let them know that they’re on your mind and you can’t wait to see them soon. Receiving a sweet text amongst the clutter of social media notifications, WhatsApp group chats, and Instagram Valentine’s posts will brighten up their day.
6. Make a goodie bag
If you’re searching for a gift idea, remember that big isn’t always best. Sometimes it’s the small, thoughtful things that make the most impact. Make a list of your partner or loved one’s favorite things to eat, drink, and do, and then fill a gift bag with a selection of items that you know that they’ll love. You could include their favorite candy, a bottle of their favorite beer, or a handmade voucher promising to do an errand or chore that you know that they hate (a week of doing the dishes, anyone?).
This is also a great gift for a friend who you know is having a stressful time—you can replace the above gifts with self-care items like a scented candle, some bubble bath, and their favorite cookie.
7. Treat them to a game night
Sometimes the most valuable present that you can give is quality time together. Make sure that you don’t spend a night in with your significant other scrolling through your phone by treating them to a gift that you can use together. A board game is a great investment, as you can play it over and over again. Give things a competitive edge by drawing up a leader board and keeping score of your game nights to decide an overall champion.
8. Fulfill your partner’s sexual fantasies
Does your partner have a sexual fantasy that they’ve always wanted to try? As long as this is something that you’re comfortable doing, surprise them by offering to make it a reality. Whether this means dressing up in stockings and suspenders, bringing toys into the bedroom, or experimenting with getting intimate in an unusual place, you should always make sure that the sex is communicative and consensual. Beyond this, have fun! Your partner will appreciate your openness and willingness to make their desires real.
9. Make a to-do list lucky dip
For a cute gift that just keeps on giving, fill a jar or box with date night or activity ideas. Gift this to a friend or partner for a fun year of things to do, new things to try, and places to go. When making plans, simply pick out a new piece of paper (no peeking!), and get ready to shake your date days (or friend dates) up a bit.
10. Revisit significant places in your relationship
If you have a partner, you can give the gift of good memories by planning a tour of all the spots that are meaningful to you as a couple. The place where you met, where you had your first date, or where you first told each other that you loved each other are all sure to bring back happy memories reminding you of why you’re together this Valentine’s Day.