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  • Adri Sandoval

5 Valentine's Day gifts that SUCK. (And what to gift instead!)

It may seem like a no-brainer to gift your sweetheart something classic. The kind of gift that can be picked up on your way over from the big white temporary tent in the Kroger parking lot. Because c'mon - who doesn't love flowers and chocolate?

These "no-brainer" gifts don't last and may be more trouble than they're worth. Also - they don't come with much thought behind them aside from "Here, I got you something."

This is your year to surprise your sweetie with something thoughtful - a twist on a classic gift with none of the sinks that make them suck.

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Don't: Gift Flowers

Flowers are a classic Valentine's Day gift, but they can come with a lot of responsibility. Cut flowers don't last, and will wither and die in only a few days, even if they're fed and watered. A living plant might be a better option, but if your loved one doesn't have a green thumb, you may just be gifting a big load of guilt when it dies.

Instead: LEGO Icons Orchid Set

The LEGO Icons Orchid set is a much better way to gift flowers. Not only will they last forever, they can be a fun activity for you and your loved one as many times as you'd like to break it down and put it back together. There's no need to worry about feeding, pruning, or watering. These plastic petals will stay perfectly pretty for a lifetime.


Don't: Gift Bad Chocolate

It might seem easy enough to just walk into a grocery store and pick any old heart-shaped box of chocolates, but what are you gifting, really? If it's the thought that counts, "Here, I stopped at the gas station on my way here," is not the thought you want to convey. Unless your loved one tells you that they're coo-coo for cheap chocolate, skip the heart-shaped boxes of mystery-fillings and the everyday bars that they can grab themselves.

Instead: Gift Chocolate That Gives Back

Chocolate industry is notoriously riddled with bad business practices, but there are several brands trying to make big changes. These ethical companies are giving back by refusing to source their ingredients from farms that use slave or child labor. Gift your favorite person guilt-free chocolate, and let them know that their sweet snack is helping create a future free of cruelty.

TCHO is a super-transparent B-Corp company based in the United States with high standards for both their product and how they conduct their business. They hope to create a world in which cacao farmers - many of whom have never even tasted chocolate - earn a fair wage for their product. Gift good when you give your sweetheart this TCHO Origins & Pairings Chocolate Bar Gift Box with six different flavors to try. It may not be heart-shaped, but it's got heart where it really counts.


Don't: Cutesy Plush Animals Holding Hearts

Nothing says "I remembered to grab something for you while I was buying a gift for my mom," like these cheap little plush animals. They're never particularly well-made, they're gaudy, and the fluff always seems to be coming out of them. Skip the busted bear holding his heart in his hands - yes, even the giant oversized ones your sweetie will have no space for.

Instead: Squishmallow Heating Pad

There's a reason these smiling, squishable softies are so popular. They're ADORABLE and this one is functional as well! The microwave insert can be zapped for a minute and shoved back into your plush buddy to be used as a heating pad. The next time cramps or sore muscles attack, Squishmallow will be there to save the day!


Don't: Give Conversation Hearts

Just. Don't. Does anybody actually like these super-sweet bits of chalk? They're not even great at flirting.

Instead: Taco Bell Sauce Packets

I'm kidding. Though, if your Valentine said they didn't want anything or they're super thrifty, saucy sauce packets might be the way to go. Those sauce packets are fantastic flirts. Who knew you could blush so hard eating a bean burrito?

ACTUALLY Instead: Sour Patch Conversation Hearts

If you like to let your snacks do the sweet-talking, consider a candy people actually enjoy. You can get a whole pound of Sour Patch message hearts for a steal at Amazon. The bag contains both "sour" and "sweet" messages - so you may want to explain to your sweetie that the "swipe left" and "hard pass" messages are not for them - or you could pick them out and set them aside for yourself. Your Valentine doesn't have to know that you ordered a whole pound, not just the half pound of sweet smooth-talking hearts you gave them.


Don't: Blindly Buy Jewlery

Jewlery might seem like a slam-dunk gift, but it can be tricky to get right. There are all kinds, and people may have preferences for style, metals, gems etc. that you don't know about. The best way to buy jewlery is to take your special person with you to pick something out. If you're looking to surprise someone, it may be better to gift something different so neither you or your SO is disappointed if you don't get the reaction you hoped for.

Instead: Stick with Something Simple

If you're dead set on buying jewelry, keep it small and simple. Elaborate jewelry can be tricky, but simple pieces can be worn daily and you don't have to worry so much about whether it will "go" with anything in their closet. A simple chain with a pendant can be worn daily with a dress, jeans, or anything else in most situations. Check their other jewelry - if they already wear silver, get silver. If they already wear gold, get gold. That way, you're more likely to get them something they'll love.

The Valloey River Initial necklace pictured above comes in multiple styles, with any letter your love's name begins with - or your name to give them something to think of you. It's gold-plated, simple and elegant. For pure gold, you may have to reach a little deeper into your wallet, but this option won't break the bank.

You're ready to rock this Valentine's Day! Check out our gifts guides for more perfect gifts that will make them swoon!


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