Valentine's Day gifts

Unique Twists on Classic Gifts for Valentine’s Day

7 min read

Valentine’s Day is a sweet excuse for new and long-time lovers to express their deepest affections through thoughtful gestures and gifts. However, many boutiques, perfumeries, and tasting rooms are filled with traditional gifts that might be a bit boring after many years spent together. In this article, we offer unique twists on classic gifts for Valentine’s Day. From customizing the quintessential bouquet of flowers to transforming a simple bottle of wine into a treasure trove of memories, it’s time to shake things up and make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable. Whether it’s through personalization, experiences, or unexpected surprises, we hope these ideas help you deepen your connection and celebrate your unique bond in ways that far surpass the ordinary.

The Classic: A Bouquet of Red Roses

A bouquet of red roses is perhaps the most iconic Valentine’s Day gift, symbolizing love and passion. Other popular floral choices include tulips, lilies, and orchids, each with its own meaning and beauty.

The Twist

Instead of traditional roses, opt for a bouquet of exotic flowers that are rare or unique to a region your partner loves or wishes to visit. You can also consider a potted plant that blooms year after year, symbolizing enduring love. 

If sustainability is important to your partner, consider a living eco-sphere, terrarium, or a plantable seed paper bouquet that grows into flowers or herbs. Alternatively, opt for a floral arrangement workshop where you both can create your bouquets together, making for a fun and memorable experience.

The Classic: Chocolates

Boxes of chocolates, especially heart-shaped ones, are a sweet and classic way to express affection. High-quality or artisanal chocolates can add a special touch.

The Twist

Customize a box of chocolates with flavors that tell a story or represent significant moments in your relationship, such as where you met or your favorite vacations together. Alternatively, look for a chocolate-making class where you can design and craft your chocolates, adding personal touches like initials or choosing flavors that reflect your journey as a couple. Take inspiration from the Japanese Valentine’s Day tradition of Honmei-Choco.

The Classic: Jewelry

Pieces like heart-shaped pendants, diamond earrings, or personalized bracelets are enduring symbols of love that appeal to many. However, this Valentine’s Day gift might skew more tired than timeless–especially for those in long-term relationships. 

The Twist

Instead of a heart-shaped locket, collaborate with a jeweler to create a piece that reflects the recipient’s personality, preferences, or a unique aspect of your relationship. This could involve selecting specific stones, metals, or design elements that hold special meaning. Some jewelers also offer the option to incorporate fingerprints into their designs. A piece featuring the fingerprint of a loved one can be a deeply personal and touching gift.

Another option is to redesign a piece of family heirloom jewelry to fit the recipient’s style while preserving the sentimental value. This can give old pieces a new life and connect generations. In the same vein, select a piece that reflects the recipient’s cultural heritage or is inspired by a historical era they are fascinated with, adding a layer of personal identity and connection.

The Classic: Perfume or Cologne

A luxurious fragrance can be a personal and intimate gift, chosen with the recipient’s tastes in mind. However, guessing the right scent or wading through dozens of options in a perfumery can be an olfactory nightmare. 

The Twist

Personalization is the key to a great perfume gift. ​​Instead of one scent, create a “scent journey” with several small bottles each representing different memories or future dreams you share. Make sure the scents are complementary, so they can be worn together or separately, allowing the recipient to explore and create their unique scent combinations, reflecting their mood or occasion.

The Classic: A Valentine’s Day Greeting Card

A heartfelt, handwritten card can convey deep emotions and thoughts, often accompanying other gifts. But signing a Hallmark card with someone else’s sentiments typed and reprinted thousands of times might not feel as unique as you might have hoped.

The Twist

Consider making a card yourself or with your children. A card made by hand, from the paper choice to the decorations, adds a personal and unique touch. Even incorporating simple elements like watercolor, collage, or calligraphy can make the card stand out. 

If you seek a challenge, watch a YouTube tutorial on creating a card with interactive elements, such as pop-ups, pull tabs that reveal messages, or a puzzle the recipient has to solve to read your note. Another option is to turn the card into a time capsule of sorts by writing predictions, hopes for the future, or where you see yourselves in the coming years, to be opened at a later date.

The Classic: A Romantic Dinner Date

A dinner at a fine restaurant or a homemade meal can provide a memorable experience. The effort put into planning the meal adds to its significance, but most partners will expect a traditional dinner date out for Valentine’s Day.

The Twist

There are a million ways to elevate a classic dinner date. Consider arranging a dinner in an unexpected outdoor setting, such as a beach, a forest clearing, a private garden, or even a rooftop with a view. The change of scenery adds a magical touch. Design and print menu cards for the evening, including dishes that have special meaning, with a little note explaining their significance or why you chose them.

Alternatively, hire a private chef to prepare dinner in your kitchen, allowing you to enjoy a luxurious dining experience without leaving home. Some chefs offer interactive sessions where you can learn tips and tricks.

The Classic: A Fluffy Teddy Bear Holding an Embroidered Heart

Soft, cuddly toys, especially those holding hearts or romantic messages, are a sweet, if somewhat whimsical, gift choice. Teddy bears are cute, but traditional stuffed animals can be a bit useless. 

The Twist

If planning to gift a teddy bear this Valentine’s Day, find ways to personalize it with accessories, sound clips, or something else that’s meaningful to your partner. Making a teddy bear or stuffed animal more unique and meaningful can transform it from a simple gift into a cherished keepsake. 

For example, some teddy bears come with the ability to record a personal message or heartbeat sound. Recording a message, a laugh, or even a snippet of a song that’s meaningful to you both can make the bear incredibly special.

Alternatively, add accessories to the teddy bear that reflect the recipient’s interests or your relationship. This could be a miniature version of their favorite hobby item, a tiny book, or a replica of an important object in your lives.

If you and your partner are in a long-distance relationship, create two identical teddy bears, keeping one for yourself and giving the other to your loved one. This symbolizes staying connected, no matter the distance.

The Classic: A Beloved Book 

For the more literary-minded, a beloved book or a novel that speaks to your partner’s interests can be a thoughtful gift. Classic love stories with women-centric plots like Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and Little Women are popular choices. (Maybe rethink Wuthering Heights this year, though–especially if you have yet to read it yourself.)

The Twist

If you do choose to gift a book this Valentine’s Day, here are some novel ways to make it a bit more special. First, we always recommend giving a book you yourself have already read. If selecting one of your partner’s all-time favorite novels, be sure to read it yourself before gifting.

Next, write a heartfelt, personalized message on the inside cover or on a bookmark. Share why you chose this book for them, how you hope it will impact them, or recount a memory it reminds you of. Consider giving your own copy with annotations, highlighting passages that reminded you of the recipient, or sharing your thoughts and reflections in the margins.

Put together a themed book box that includes the book along with other small, related items such as themed bookmarks, a candle with a scent that matches the book’s setting, a playlist of songs that fit the mood of the book, or snacks and teas mentioned in the story. In the box, include a reading journal or notebook with prompts related to the themes, characters, and plot of the book. This encourages reflection and makes the reading experience more interactive and personal.

The Classic: An Expensive Bottle of Champagne

A bottle of fine wine or champagne, perhaps shared in a romantic setting, makes any Valentine’s Day celebration more festive. But a bottle of cab or bubbly from your local Total Wine & More might not cut it this year.

The Twist

There are so many easy ways to personalize a bottle of champagne or red wine. If you and your partner have children, selecting a bottle from the birth year of a child from your relationship is one simple yet meaningful way to elevate the gift. Choosing a vintage corked the year you were married or started dating is another sweet idea.

In addition, assemble a gourmet basket with foods that pair perfectly with the wine or champagne, such as cheeses, chocolates, or artisanal crackers. This enhances the tasting experience and turns the gift into a complete package.

If you would like to turn a gift into an experience, organize a virtual or in-person wine tasting session that includes the gifted bottle. This can be a fun way to learn about the wine together and create new memories. Alternatively, attend a blending class where you and your partner create a unique bottle of wine together.

How Will You Celebrate Valentine’s Day This Year?

As we have outlined above, adding a unique twist to classic Valentine’s Day gifts can transform even the simplest of gestures into deeply meaningful expressions of love. By infusing traditional presents with creativity, personalization, and thoughtfulness, you not only honor the spirit of this special day but also reinforce the uniqueness of your relationship. 

This Valentine’s Day, let your gift reflect the depth of your affection and the joy of your shared journey, creating memories that will be cherished long after the chocolates have been savored and the flowers have bloomed. Remember, it’s the thought, effort, and personal touch that truly make a gift unforgettable, turning a moment of love into a lifetime of cherished memories. 

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Let us know in the comments below!