The typical Valentine's Day gifts are just that: typical. Don't settle for giving a blah gift one more year. You've found that special someone who drives you crazy in a good way. Give that person something fresh and creative this year. Celebrate your love with these modern takes on classic Valentine's Day gifts.
Flowers – Don't get me wrong, roses are considered classic for a reason. With a candy-sweet fragrance and soft, touchable petals, roses will be a thoughtful gift until the end of time. To give this traditional floral gift a “2016-approved” update however, go to a farmer's market and see what fresh cut flowers are in season. For extra credit, give bae some potted flowers or a lush green plant in a beautiful geometric planter or terrarium that will liven up the apartment, and last much, much longer than a cut bouquet.
Naming a -star- cockroach – Everyone knows those star charts are bogus and the inhabitants of the planets orbiting “Kim & Tina 4ever” will never subscribe to the intergalactic imperialism you’re supposedly heartfelt gift implies. Instead, look toward our own planet and the Bronx Zoo’s new Valentine’s Day fundraising program where you can name a loved one after a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach for $10. Buzzfeed, and a number of other blogs have already tried to spin the scheme as a way for the zoo to profit off of people naming their exes off of the disgusting insect, however, this could be just the thing for the sexy entomologist in your life.
Lingerie – The intention of this cheeky, age-old classic is as transparent as the lingerie usually is. Something skimpy and flashy is clearly meant to be more a gift for the giver than the receiver. The updated twist here is to give good quality underwear, made of luxurious fabrics, that feel amazing when worn, rather than merely appealing to the pervey gift-giver. Show your valentine you want them to have the best, whether you end up seeing them in it or not. There’s nothing worse than when sexy underwear doesn’t also make you feel sexy, so give the gift of the most comfortable underwear they'll ever wear.
Framed photo – While there's nothing wrong with a good ole' framed photo, it stopped being a surprising and unexpected gift 20 years ago. For an upgrade to this romantic standby, start with your favorite photo of you both together and make a custom photo smartphone case you can embellish with words and art.
Jewelry – Diamonds are everyone's best friend. The price tag that often accompanies them? Not so much. For less than the cost of the average tennis bracelet, you can surprise your other half with the highly coveted Apple Watch. The ultimate tech accessory has the ability to text, make calls, get directions, play music, and yes, even tell time. Highly customizable, the Apple watch has nearly limitless band designs and comes in many materials — from rose gold, to Hermes leather, to “fluoroelastomer” (a high-performance rubber, perfect for fitness, and available in many colors).
Mixtape – Who can forget the sacred process: tracking down carefully curated songs that said exactly how you felt, laboring over song order, hand-drawn cover design, and of course, all the fast-forwarding, rewinding, pausing and recording necessary in order to craft the perfect mixtape with which to declare your love? While cassette tapes have gone the way of the buffalo, the spirit of the mixtape will live on forever. To express your feelings through the perfect songs today, but with far less effort, make a custom spotify playlist to play during your date. Don’t risk the Power Rangers theme song popping up from your shuffled library on Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate — Chocolates are a universally beloved gift, but the bright red, heart-shaped box has an inherent awkward, juvenile feel to it. Just say no. To put a modern twist on this indulgent classic, you could go the extra mile with some haughty overpriced chocolate, or you could spend less than $100 and get your loved one memorialized in 3D-printed chocolate. For someone so sexy you could just eat them up. Results may vary.
By Rae Avery