Valentine’s Day: 15 Practical Gifts for Your Beloved
|Practical gifts for Valentine's Day. Photo: China brands|
Valentine’s Day typically isn’t associated with giving practical gifts — it’s an occasion usually thought of as the time to go big (jewelry!), sexy (lingerie!) or indulgent (chocolate and red wine!). But this Valentine’s Day you may want to emphasize function over fancy and purchase a gift for your sweetie that they’ll enjoy all year long.
Of course, giving a practical gift can be tricky, especially on a holiday associated with romance. But done right, a practical gift hits the sweet spot of items that are useful while still feeling special.
1. Our Place Always Pan
You’ve probably seen this pretty pink pan everywhere (we love it in that vibrant red color too); we tried it and loved it ourselves. The Always Pan can take the place of a whopping eight cooking devices. Pair it with a virtual cooking class from Sur La Table for a socially distanced date night. (We’d also suggest adding on the brand’s handy spruce steamer for perfectly prepared dumplings, veggies and more.), CNN cites.
2. Tushy Classic Bidet
If you haven’t already taken the bidet plunge, the Tushy can be a wonderful gift indeed. Our editors loved the basic bidet, the Tushy Classic, but for those who live in colder climates, the Tushy Spa may be a better choice because it offers a warm water cleansing option. For a few extra bells and whistles, you can also splurge on the slightly upgraded Tushy Classic 3.0 ($99, originally $129; hellotushy.com).
3. Pom Pom At Home Trestles Oversize Throw Blanket
|Photo: Burke Decor|
If you’re one half of a couple that loves to snuggle up on the couch, a beautiful oversize throw blanket is a wonderful gift idea. The pale pink color is a pretty nod to Valentine’s Day that will work all year in almost any room. And sharing a blanket on a cold night gives you a great excuse to get closer to your honey — after all, the saying is “Netflix and chill,” not “Netflix and chilly.”
4. DellCoveSpices Gourmet Popcorn
Really great popcorn makes another great Valentine’s Day present for the movie enthusiast. DellCoveSpices offers tons of yummy varieties of specialty popping corn. Add a set of gourmet seasonings in flavors like salt and vinegar, chocolate caramel and classic butter to spice up the gift.
5. Rose Parade Sip Sip Tumbler With Straw
Roses are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift that offer a lot of options when you think outside the bouquet. Rose-scented products like bubble bath or body lotion are one way to go, but fragrance can be tricky when it comes to gifts. Unless you’re absolutely sure your valentine likes floral notes, you’re better off opting for a gift that features a rose motif or design, like this reusable water tumbler in a super-pretty pink and blue rose pattern.
6. Soundcore Q30 ANC Headphones
When you want to sit and really appreciate a piece of music, you want over-the-ear headphones with big drivers, cushy earcups and active noise canceling to drown out any ambient sound that might be interfering with your appreciation, according to Cnet.
The Soundcore Q30 is a ridiculously popular and highly rated headphone (it made CNET's list of the best headphones under $100), offering great sound and lots of features at a very attractive price. It's definitely worth a look if you're looking to treat your ears.
7. Comfy Wearable Blanket
|Photo: Travel + Leisure|
Look, if you're going to be stuck home alone, you might as well be warm and comfortable, right? Who's going to see you? The Comfy looks pretty silly regardless of who's wearing it, but, dang it, the thing is ridiculously warm and comfortable. I like this version with the quarter-zip neck.
8. Box One
|Photo: Ultimate Theme|
True to its name, this tabletop game was designed with the single-player in mind. That's rather unusual, but it's also kind of a relief: If you're between significant others right now, you can still enjoy an escape room-style experience.
OK, this "room" comes in a box, but it's a box designed by Neil Patrick Harris. And it's really fun, good for at least a couple of hours of puzzle-solving.
9. Zimasilk 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
A luxe upgrade is a great way to make a mundane-seeming item into a knock-their-socks-off gift. For example, pillowcases aren’t especially giftable, but silk pillowcases are. In addition to being ultra-glam, silk pillowcases are also a practical investment — they’re easier on your hair and skin than their cotton counterparts because they’re less drying. These silk pillowcases come in six size options and a whopping 36 different colors including, yup, red.
10. Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator
As working from home becomes a more common part of our professional lives, a new challenge has arisen: We need snacks. We no longer have in-office snack stations to graze from, and those midday newsstand and convenience store runs aren’t as likely to happen when you work from home. A food dehydrator solves that at-home snack problem and is a fun hobby to boot. It’s a great gift for the person who loves jerky and wants to make their own, or for someone who loves to nibble on fruit leather during Zoom meetings.
11. Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother
Another staple of office life that’s gone by the wayside for a lot of people is the coffee shop stop. If your sweetheart has been missing their morning triple espresso or afternoon vanilla latte, a gift of nice coffee, flavoring syrups and a milk frother will give them the fix they’ve been missing.
12. KitchenAid Cordless Chopper
We love giving the gift of a small kitchen appliance. Small appliances like air fryers and breakfast sandwich makers offer a range of price points, functions and colors — for Valentine’s Day, red, rose gold or pink is an obvious choice. This red chopper is a favorite of meal prep experts, but if that’s too dicey (get it?!) a heart-shaped waffle maker is another great choice.
13. Zadro Luxury Bucket-Style Towel Warmer
|Photo: Good Housekeeping|
You know what’s even better than a warm hug? A warm towel. A towel warmer feels like such a luxury, but it turns out that it’s a pretty affordable luxury. This bucket-style warmer can simply be plugged into an existing wall outlet.
14. Omystyle Full-Body Bath Pillow
|Photo: Seniors Mobility|
A spa cushion is another luxury bathroom upgrade that won’t break the bank. Forget bath bombs and salts — if your loved one loves a relaxing bath, this padded full-body tub mat with an attached bath pillow to cradle the neck and head while bathing will take the experience to a whole new level.
15. Cabepow Long iPhone Charger Cord
An extra-long phone charging cord is one of those things that, once you have one, you won’t know how you ever lived without. The Cabepow 10-foot charging cord comes in red and pink, elevating it from a mundane tech accessory to a holiday-appropriate gift that also happens to be super useful.
Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”—at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”, says History.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
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