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Every year, February 14th sneaks up on me — which is funny, because I love Valentine’s Day. As soon as I take my Christmas tree down, I cover the walls of my apartment with pink and red hearts and tissue paper roses and start planning what I’ll get my loved ones. Then January hits me like a steamroller, and suddenly we’re almost halfway into February and I haven’t made a dinner reservation or mailed out the Valentines that were going to make up for the fact that I never sent holiday cards in December.
It seems I’m not the only one procrastinating, though: A recent survey of over 1,000 Americans found that 40 percent of people wait until the week of Valentine’s Day to buy a gift, with 10 percent of them shopping (presumably frantically) on the big day itself. That’s okay though, because nearly half of respondents (48 percent) just want to have a nice dinner at a restaurant. In other words — call up or get online and make that reservation now! Other popular gift options, like chocolate (34 percent want it) and flowers (31 percent of people prefer them) are relatively easy to pick up the day of.
Luckily, there’s still time to pick up gifts for your loved ones. We’ve rounded up a few editor-endorsed items that are sure to surprise and delight everyone from romantic partners to gal pals, children, and parents. (And don’t forget to treat yourself, while you’re at it!)
This Year’s Most-Wanted Valentine’s Gifts
Here’s what survey respondents said they wanted (keep in mind that they were allowed to choose more than one thing, so the percentages add up to more than 100), plus a few of our personally-recommended suggestions.
- A nice dinner at a restaurant (48 percent)
- Chocolate (34 percent)
- Flowers (31 percent)
- An experience, like a massage or a concert (28 percent)
- Jewelry (25 percent)
- A vacation (22 percent)
- A handmade gift (17 percent)
- A new electronic item (14 percent) such as a smart phone or smartwatch
Do you have someone with a sweet tooth on your Valentine’s list? You can’t go wrong with Jelly Belly’s Conversation Beans ($6 at Jelly Belly), which are printed with sweet sayings and come in an assortment of favorite sour fruity flavors, including sour apple and sour cherry. I’m giving them to my daughters this year, along with a couple of more personally selected items:
For my college student, who’s the head of her dorm’s social activities committee, a bottle of Tequila Rose, a strawberry cream liqueur that’s delicious served as a chilled shot or in a grown-up milkshake, is sure to be a hit (only for those of legal drinking age, of course!). And for my dairy-loving younger daughter, a gift box from the Cheese Brothers hit the spot — they sent us the “Love is Cheesy” collection, which I gave her a few days early, much to her delight, and they have several other options to choose from on Amazon, as well. A few yummy-smelling bath items from Lush are rounding out the gift-giving extravaganza — and rest-assured, I saved some out for myself (their cinnamon-and-rose-scented “I Can Resist Everything but Temptation” shower gel has been my go-to in the shower all month long).
The Best Chocolate, Jewelry, and Electronics for Valentine’s Day
What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Our favorite is the organic, earth-friendly brand Alter Eco, which works to empower farmers and reverse climate change with sustainable production practices. It’s available at iHerb, Walmart, Lucky Vitamin, Hive Brands, and (probably) your local grocery store’s organic foods section. I’m partial to the Almond Butter Bombs, myself.
Of course, jewelry is also a popular choice, and if you’re looking for the perfect present for yourself, I recommend clicking over to Abbott Lyon and ordering one of their beautiful, high-quality, personalized, and surprisingly affordable pieces. The Mini Heart Birthstone necklace (only $76) layers well with your other jewelry, and will go perfectly with any outfit. Or are you a Sex and the City fan who watched every episode of the reboot, plus the behind-the-scenes documentary? Get your very own “Carrie” necklace — with your own name, of course — on sale now for just $86. (Full disclosure: I gave them to my daughters for Christmas and they haven’t taken them off since.)
The more practical-minded among us, or at least the 14 percent of folks surveyed who said they wanted electronics for Valentine’s Day, might appreciate some cute new earbuds, like these lilac-hued ones from Jabra (Jabra Elite 3, $80 at Amazon).
Looking for a special someone to be your Valentine, someone you can shower with gifts? Check out our article on the best online dating sites for seniors, and your wish could come true! However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, we hope it’s sweet.
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