Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas That Aren’t Tacky

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with a romantic partner this year or celebrating Galentine’s Day with your pals, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating love. It’s undeniable that this holiday has been over-commercialized, and whichever way you package it, Valentine’s Day is cheesy. That said, there’s no shame in loving love, and the world needs acts of love more than ever. Here are some ways you can celebrate this year without being tacky.

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

Mass-produced cards, boxes of chocolates, and basic bouquets of red roses aren’t for everyone. If you want to get into the sentimentality of the day without being overly cheesy, a homemade Valentine’s Day gift is the way to go.

Love Letters

Go traditional with a romantic hand-written love letter. You could write about all of the reasons that you love your Valentine and your hopes for the future with them. If this isn’t your style, you could switch to daily affirmations with heart-shaped sticky-notes or a jar full of lovely thoughts about your loved one. This is a gift that will keep on giving.


If you are crafty, you could put together a pretty scrapbook with photos and stories of your favourite memories together. Include momentoes like ticket stubs from events you’ve been to, chronicle your best dates and holidays, and jazz it up with stickers. You could use a polaroid printer to make it more stylish, without a polaroid camera.

Baked Goods

It’s long been said that the way to the heart is through the stomach, and homemade sweet treats are always a win. Bake some iced cookies or decorative brownies with messages of love and appreciation. You’ll get to eat some as well, which is a plus. If they don’t have a sweet tooth, you could make savoury treats like heart-shaped mini pizzas.

At-Home Spa

Give your loved one the gift of relaxation by turning your home into a spa for the day. You can gift them with a fluffy bathrobe and slippers, bath bombs or essential oils, a foot bath or massager, scented candles, and exfoliating face masks and moisturising sheet masks. Make them feel pampered without scattering messy rose petals everywhere.

Netflix and Chill Fort

Make what you usually do a little more special by constructing a private little world for you and your loved one in your bedroom or living room. Use blankets, cushions, and strings of fairy lights to make a cosy little getaway for you both to snuggle up together. Ordering their favourite takeaway is optional – they may prefer a homemade meal.

Simple Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

If you have more money to budget than time, you can still simply buy a straightforward present for your loved one. Just make sure that it shows how well you know them and it is something significant that they would actually like.


You don’t have to buy a diamond ring and pop the question on Valentine’s Day, because that will always be corny no matter what. High-quality jewellery such as earrings or a necklace will always make a good gift, though. You could personalise it by choosing their favourite gemstone or their birthstone, or creating a customised charm bracelet.

Art Prints

For those with blank spaces on the walls and an eye for personal decor, a framed print is a long-lasting gift that will make the recipient think of you every time that they look at it. It could be art from their favourite film or TV show, or something romantic like the star chart from the night of a significant moment in your relationship (e.g. first date).


An equally romantic and edible alternative to a box of chocolates is macaroons. French food automatically seems fancier and appropriate if they eat it in the City of Love. You may not have the budget for a trip to Paris, but a box of gourmet macaroons could transport their tastebuds there. Be sure to choose flavours that you know they’ll enjoy.


A book might seem boring, but it all depends on the book itself and the recipient. A special edition of their favourite book, a book of poetry with a dedication note inside the cover, a comic compilation to make them laugh, or a guide book for self-improvement or a hobby they’ve been wanting to pursue – it’s a chance to prove you know them well.

Comfy Clothing

Show them that you care about their wellbeing by treating them to some luxury loungewear. Avoid Valentine’s Day prints and messages on clothing so that they can be worn all year round. Having cosy clothes is an incentive to spend more time at home hanging out with each other – especially if you have wine and candles for atmosphere.

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

A candlelit dinner on Valentine’s Day is a cliche, meaning that everybody will be scrambling to book a table at an upscale restaurant in advance. Here are some alternative ideas for dates to go on to celebrate Valentine’s Day.


Prices do go up around Valentine’s Day, but if you plan in advance you could book a relaxing private holiday for two. Even if it’s just a glamping weekend somewhere in the UK, spending time together and making new memories will strengthen your relationship. You don’t have to jet off to a sunny beach, especially if they love countryside cottages.

Event Tickets

Is their favourite band touring, or their favourite sports team playing a match? Is there an exhibition at a local museum relating to their favourite artist, or a screening of one of their favourite classic films at a local cinema? Present them with tickets as their Valentine’s Day gift to them and go with them to the event to validate them.

Lunch or Tea

Wining and dining are overrated. Going out for a meal earlier in the day will be less busy but have equally romantic options. Treat your loved one to brunch or an afternoon tea somewhere nice – you can still dress up for your date, then you’ll have the evening free to do whatever else you want. This way, you can fit multiple things into the day.

Scenic Drive

For those who live close to beautiful landscapes, take the opportunity to drive amongst them or take a first-class train ride. Be sure to have a destination, too – you can prepare a picnic to take with you and enjoy it together while watching the sunset. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s more meaningful than flowers and a Thorntons collection box.

Something New

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to bring the spark back if your relationship is settling into a bit of rut. Try doing something new and fun for both of you that will be a bonding experience and something to remember. This could be an escape room, a museum, a dance lesson, or any kind of class or workshop from cookery to driving go-karts.

Ironic Valentine’s Day Gifts

There will always be some people who pride themselves on their cold, black hearts or anti-consumerist stance on Valentine’s Day. If you’re that kind of couple, you might prefer ironic ways to celebrate anti-Valentine’s sentiment instead. You should only go down this road if you know for sure that your partner would find a sarcastic gift funny. Try to avoid supporting unnecessary stereotypes while you’re at it, though. And if you’re buying an ironic Valentine’s Day present for a single person, there’s plenty of “fries before guys” or “thank u, next” merchandise to choose from.