Instead of Candy & Balloons - A Short Valentine's Gift Guide
I've never really been one to celebrate Valentine's Day. My husband and I are kind of weird, in that we don't really do holidays, and we barely do birthdays. Don't get me wrong - I'm totally obsessed with him and I'd like to think that the feeling is mutual, but holidays just aren't our thing. BUT - I'm a small business owner who makes jewelry and I also handle social media for businesses who definitely DO do Valentine's Day. So I'm not completely oblivious to the holidays.
Since this seems to be a balloon heavy time of year, I thought I'd throw my two cents in for some gifts that aren't balloons (don't get me wrong - I love a balloon installation as much as the next guy. Unfortunately, I also find balloons on the beach and during litter clean-ups ALL OF THE TIME, so I kind of don't love them as much as I wish I could)
Plants are great gifts because if you love them properly, they'll stay with you forever. As a novice plant lady and a former brown thumb, I'd recommend low maintenance plants for gift giving. Like, don't give the person you love a fern. Or a lemon tree. Your novice plant person is sure to kill both of them (or is it just me?). Succulents are great gifts because they're super low maintenance, as are philodendrons and spider plants. Spider plants and philodendrons will let you know when they need water by starting to wilt, whereas a succulent will let you forget about it for something like forever and when you finally remember it, it's all," It's totally fine! Look! I made you a flower! And a baby!"
A flower CSA
I didn't even know this was a thing until a friend of mine who has a flower farm posted something about it. You guys. It's a seasonal subscription to local, organically farmed, flower bouquets. I mean... I would kind of freak out if someone gave me this. Flowers are a great gift because they're FLOWERS. Flowers are awesome. They're pretty, they're colorful, they smell awesome, and a flower CSA is pretty much the most thoughtful way to give flowers that I can think of. Also, flowers can be put in a compost bin when they're done doing their job. Everybody wins with flowers.
I'm a HUGE fan of experiences and adventure as a gift. I know locally we have museums, a planetarium, wildlife parks, a nature refuge, a zoo, great restaurants and more. Where I'm currently staying, there's even more museums, art galleries, whale watching tours, aquariums and, for real, the opportunity for long walks on the beach. As a visitor here in sunny California, I'm trying to cram ALL of the experiences in. I overheard someone saying that they don't even think of taking advantage of some of the things that I've done while here because, when you live somewhere, you tend to take what the area offers for granted. I know I'm guilty of doing that in my own town. So this Valentine's Day, why not take advantage of what your own town has to offer, that you've always meant to experience, but just never get around to?
Local Art and Gifts
There's a saying that I always see/hear in artist communities - something along the lines of "The dead artists don't need your money, buy from the living ones." Which is true. Living artists can definitely use the money. I know a LOT of artists and most of them keep another job in addition to art, because it can be quite a battle to make a living as an artist. So consider some local art as a gift! If you don't know where to start, small boutique stores and galleries often carry local art works/products or you can put a shout out on facebook to request some local art/maker connections. Many local artists will create commissioned work , so that the art/gift that you buy is even more personalized.
Just Skip It
It's not the most popular Valentine's Day suggestion, but there's no law that says you have to do Valentine's Day. I've been a part of a couple forever and every year we're just kind of like..."meh" when it comes to Valentine's Day. I don't think it means we love each other less. I think it just means we can do a bunch of that special Valentin'es Day stuff any day of the year. With anyone! And we should. Every day is Valentine's Day!