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5 Gift Ideas That Are Better Than Flowers

Anyone can go to the grocery store and pick out a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. Make this Valentine's Day more meaningful by choosing a gift that your significant other is sure to love and appreciate. Need some inspiration? Here are five ideas to get you started.
Singing Stuffed Animal
Stuffed Animals
Photo Credit Thinkstock

So this sounds cute and all, but will it really be appreciated? If you put a little bit of effort into it, of course it will, and there's a few reasons why. If the gift recipient is an animal lover, start by picking out his or her favorite animal, whether it be a dog, cat, or even a horse. There are plenty of different singing stuffed animals, so pick out one that sings a song that's either lovey-dovey, or has some special meaning for the two of you. Want some bonus points? Put a second gift of a beautiful necklace, around the stuffed animal's neck for your lady to find.

Personalized Gifts
Personal Creations
Photo Credit Personal Creations

Many companies can customize just about anything for you. For him, try a pair of boxers designed to say "Property of [your name]". For her, get an engraved locket or stamped jewelry. Other more memorable and creative gifts can include a puzzle made from a photo of you as a couple, a picture frame with your names on it, or even a pillow with a quote about love that is complete with your embroidered names.

Handcrafted Items
Cuff Links
Photo Credit netexchange via Etsy

This isn't to suggest that you personally handcraft something (unless you have a skill set that easily lends itself to crafting a gift). Rather, there's a plethora of artists online, particularly on Etsy, that can make a special something for the special person in your life. For the ladies, there's everything from handcrafted scarves and purses to necklaces and even unique pillows. For him, there's also a range of options, including handmade wallets, mugs, cuff links, and more. Bonus: some Etsy artists make unique Valentine's Day cards, giving you the perfect outlet to express your feelings for your favorite person!

Customized Gift Baskets
Homemade Spa Gift Basket
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Rather than one big gift, put together a collection of small things that you know he or she will appreciate. Is she a coffee aficonado? Load up a basket—which is part of the gift itself—with coffee beans, coffee mugs, and maybe even a robe or nightgown while you're at it. Gift baskets are a great way to put together a themed gift, and they don't necessarily have to be food related. A basket full of spa gifts, for one, can also be a great option.

Wine Opener Gift
Photo Credit Thinkstock

How do you wrap an 'experience,' you ask? By giving your loved one something that will be a hint as to what the real gift is! Book a wine tasting or how-to-make-your-own-wine class, and give the gift of a bottle opener with a note attached to it. If it's a cooking class that you've picked out, wrap a kitchen utensil or gadget. Or, if you're planning a trip, leave hints around your place—like a new beach towel, or a pretty sea shell—to create a scavenger hunt of sorts; the last 'gift' can be the tickets to your destination!

When it comes to gift giving this Valentine's Day, all the above are just suggestions for getting started. You know your significant other best, and as such, follow your heart and you're sure to pick out something they love.

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she's writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at

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