Valentine’s Day, not unlike the holiday season, has been known to drive people nuts.
It’s the holiday that has launched a million Single’s Awareness Day tumbler memes (and counting).
It’s been known to make otherwise calm and organized types hustle for last-minute dinner reservations and fresh flowers.
Go to any drugstore in America on the eve of February 13th and witness the sight of rows upon rows of picked-over Valentine’s Day cards. Not exactly the picture of romance.
The holiday reminds me of New Year’s Eve in that, for some, Valentine’s Day becomes fraught with anticipation, anxiety, and high expectations: what did you do for Valentine’s Day? Stay home and binge on Netflix and cheesy snack foods – alone? Oh, the horror! Everyone knows you should be spending it at a dimly lit restaurant, languidly feasting on truffles and wine while gazing into the eyes of your beloved.
Maybe we should take a cue from Mexico, where St. Valentine’s Day (el Día de San Valentin) is more commonly known as El Día del Amor y la Amistad: the Day of Love and Friendship.
It’s a more low-key affair that celebrates love, beyond purely romantic love. People give flowers and candies to their significant others, but it’s also common to show appreciation for friends, neighbors, and other loved ones.
Here’s a revolutionary idea: you can celebrate Valentine’s Day no matter where your “relationship status” (in the parlance of FB) stands. Here are eight gifts to spread the love on Valentine’s Day (or any other day of the year) to the many special people in your life, one and all.
1. For your cat-loving friend.
This awesome three-legged cat planter from BeardBangs.
2. For your mom. Writer Cheryl Strayed once poignantly described her late mother as “the love of my life.” If you’re fortunate enough to have a mom in your life, gift her a copy of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed, the literary bestseller that will remind you both of the joys and sorrows of the mother-child bond.
3. For your favorite couple.
A sweetly whimsical couple’s portrait, courtesy of a talented Etsy artist, makes for a one-of-a-kind keepsake. This lovely portrait was created by the talented MareLloba.
4. For your zombie-obsessed sweetie. Make them smile with this killer four-pack of zombie valentine’s day cards from Etsy‘s BrokenCandyNYC.
5. For your pun-loving, guitar-playing dad. Show him love with this engraved guitar pick from Etsy shop giftforbestfriends.
6. For your new husband or wife.
The couple who cooks together stays together is the sentiment underlying the gorgeously photographed The Newlywed cookbook.
7. For the wee bundle of joy & love. TheSugarButtonShop makes these custom Valentine’s Day onesies, perfect for the adorable baby in your life.
8. For the lover-of-all-things-green-and-beautiful. A gorgeous array of low-maintenance succulents arranged in an elegant slate-gray pot, from Terrain. Just add sunshine, and a little water every now and then.
Need more heartfelt gift ideas? Find tips on how to ace Valentine’s Day on the Etsy blog.