Flowers are lovely and chocolates taste sweet, but some people prefer gifts that they can put to good use long after the holiday is over. These five practical Valentine's Day gift ideas still express your love, just not in the traditional teddy bear and roses sort of way.
Annual Passes Or Memberships
Does your special someone have a keen interest in art, a passion for history or a love of animals? Purchase an annual pass to a local museum or zoo, and he or she can spend all year savoring the exhibits and learning more about favorite topics. If the gift recipient is more into thrills, invest in a theme park, ski pass or water park pass instead, guaranteeing a year full of breathtaking adventures.
As an added bonus, most annual passes include admission for more than one person, so you can make a date of each visit. Plus, with some annual memberships, you will also receive free or discounted admission to similar institutions around the country.
Home improvement doesn't exactly sound romantic, but when it's part of designing your dream home along with the one you love, it can be. Rolling up your sleeves and getting down to work is more appealing when you're working together to bring a shared vision to life. Select tools that can be used to make your home renovation dreams a reality, and include a thoughtful note about how you are looking forward to building your future together.
Streaming Service Subscription
Date night doesn't always have to mean a night out on the town, so invest in a streaming service that brings entertainment right into your home. If you're a television and movies type of couple, go for a Netflix, Hulu Plus or CBS All Access subscription. Meet up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a blanket for cuddling while you take in a show together.
If relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine and music playing in the background is more your idea of a romantic evening, try out a music service. With the right songs, you might even find yourselves slow dancing on the living room floor.
For those who are having trouble breaking away from traditional Valentine's Day flower bouquets, live plants are a similar gift that last much longer. In addition to being lovely, a houseplant might also be good for your loved one's health. Indoor plants have been shown to improve concentration, lower stress levels and shorten recovery time after illness or injury. If your loved one is into cooking, make it an indoor herb garden. Outdoor plants are good for a person's overall well-being, too, so for a floral gift that will bloom year after year, plant rose bushes in the yard. Every time the flowers bloom, your special someone will be reminded of your love.
Nothing feels quite as good after a stressful week as a relaxing massage. The easiest way to gift a massage to your loved one is with a gift certificate to a local spa, and a professional couple's massage is an ultra romantic experience. If a professional service is out of your budget, or if you want something more private, shop for massage oils and a book on massage techniques. There may be a learning curve involved, but who better to practice on than one another?
Meghan Ross is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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