Gala’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day. A time of super-cute awesomeness or an overly-commercial swindle? It’s totally up to you!

Valentine's Day

I think Valentine’s Day is great, even though this is going to be the first time I haven’t had a valentine in years. (Maybe we could all be each others’ valentine!) Love is magnificent & should be celebrated every chance we get, & even if you feel like there isn’t a lot of that around you, take this opportunity to celebrate the love that is coming to you, right now. Feel it, believe it, visualise it, soak it up. Yum yum!

If you actually look at it, Valentine’s Day is a really interesting phenomenon. For example, in 2008 in Saudi Arabia, religious police banned any Valentine’s Day items (even anything red!) from being sold on February 14th, considering it an un-Islamic holiday — & so created a black market for roses & wrapping paper! How amazing is that?!

So here’s my disclaimer. I know a lot of people dislike Valentine’s Day because it’s such an exercise in consumerism. I have heard “Why should we only celebrate love on one day?!” as an argument more than enough times. Fair enough. I hear you. I’ve got your number. But — let me be blatantly honest here — that doesn’t give you an excuse to be a mean, party-pooping tight-ass. You might think you’re being awesome & anti-establishment but your girlfriend still feels bad when everyone but her gets flowers. Okay? So do something. Anything. It doesn’t have to cost money! Give your partner a great massage, make their favourite meal, go for a walk & have a good discussion about something, whatever you like — just be as cool a person as you know you can be!

Having said all of this, here are some things I’ve found while trawling around the internet that I think would make great Valentine’s Day gifts for your lover, spouse, best friend or even yourself! (I find it hard to resist heart-shaped items at the best of times.) A lot of these items come from Etsy. Buy handmade where you can!

Put it on: clothing, accessories & other treats

Etsy forever

Conversation hearts are one of the coolest things ever, but I don’t think they taste too wonderful, so why not take the concept & expand on it? J2 Jewelry will customise a silver conversation heart on a chain. Wicked awesome. I Sew Cute makes resin heart necklaces — I like this one filled with red & pink nonpareils, but then, I would! Here’s another conversation heart necklace from Fatally Feminine, except this time it’s pink & sparkly, & Maisey Handmade makes candy heart felted fingerless mitts, perfect for your cutie.

Margaux Lange is clever; her necklace The Kiss proves it! (The rest of her stuff is pretty incredible too. Barbie boobie heart, anyone?!)

Freyagushi is mega-talented. I love her Medical Contessa Couture corset. A lot.

Safe sex is rad. Why not present loverboy with a selection of condoms with a picture of the two of you on them?! Why not, indeed! If that’s a bit weird for you, how about Trevor Brown or Coop condoms, a hallowe’en assortment, tri-colour or kimono colour condoms or a bottle of Astroglide?

Moving along…

Ahhhrt: making you cooler & smarter than everyone else since the dawn of time

Etsy forever

My friend Star is an incredible illustrator. Why don’t you buy a birdcage heart shirt or a print of one of her cute girls?

Sam Brown of Exploding Dog is doing an awesome Valentine’s Day print special. Plus if you order today, it should arrive just in the nick of time!

My friends at Phokki (who are sponsoring me this week, woo!) offer a wicked service where they’ll turn a photo into art! Want an amazing portrait done of you & your beloved? Hollaaaaa!

JustMyLuckDesigns has conversation heart vinyl wall stickers in any colour you like. Studio JK does them too. If you share a place with your lover, put them on the wall as a surprise!

Mix it up: a menagerie of alternative ideas!

Etsy forever

Call your favourite cupcakerie & have them send 6 or 12 cupcakes in a tantalising flavour to the object of your affections. Even better, make your own & buy some toppers to stick in them. Goosegrease does cute stamped dolls which would make anyone smile, but honestly, Etsy is a major treasure trove for that kind of thing!

Embark on a three day raw passion sextox. Uh huh!

If you & your kissing buddy like nothing better than going to the movies, get them a book of cinema vouchers. Borrow your friend’s boat & have lunch on the ocean. Make out in public. Present her with a slew of concert tickets for the next 6 months. Pay his extravagant library fines. Write a song. Buy them a copy of your favourite book. Get two tickets to Burning Man. Buy an orchid & decorate the pot with crystals. Plan a scavenger hunt. Paint something. Buy them a new pair of speakers or headphones. Fill up their iPod with some of your favourite songs. Take a bubble bath together & talk about the future. Go out dancing. Adopt an animal together from your local pet shelter (but think about it first!). If you’re in England, build them a snowman! Or you could just show up looking devilishly marvellous & get it on!

It’s all about you, baby

Etsy forever

Valentine’s Day is also an excellent excuse to splurge on yourself. Like you needed one! At least, I hope you didn’t!

Don’t have a boyfriend, girlfriend, lover or crush? First of all, kudos for not being in an unhappy relationship just for the sake of being with someone! Secondly, be good to yourself. Valentine’s Day is about love, & of course the most important person to love is yourself! Go & get a facial or a luxurious massage. Buy devastatingly fabulous lingerie & celebrate the fact that you’re your own lover! Agent Provocateur & Kiki De Montparnasse are perennial favourites, but I just discovered Hopeless & I’m head over heels. I don’t even like cats & that stuff makes me want to say meow. My friends at Madame Rouge have put together a fabulous Valentine’s Day deal on their Nouveau Ruffle set — I own the whole set & love it like mad, the bra especially. It is sauce central! So here it goes: if you quote “freebriefs” when you check out, it will either give you a g-string for nothing, or treat you to the boy shorts for only $6! Woo woo!

Make yourself smell delicious with a lick of fragrance from LuckyScent (my favourite). This double-decker window necklace is perfect for the sassy single girl (or your sassy single best friend). Deck yourself out in a poofy neon tutu & rock the city without apologies. Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, so no excuses! Go PINK! Buy yourself an incredible dress or something fun from New York Couture. Hit up your favourite sex boutique for some premium self-lovin’. Crank up the music & hoop until you can’t hoop any more. Send emails to all your favourite people telling them exactly why you love them. Bake cookies & write obscene words on them. Make a teepee in your living room & spend the day writing inside it.

Random Valentine’s Day fun

Valentine’s Day is also a great time to go wild on all the heart-shaped treasures which the stores are crammed with right now. If you’re a fan of red or hot pink, even better! You could deck out an entire palace with the stuff that’s available this month! Even better, on the 15th it all goes on sale! Snap it up!

Throw a Valentine’s Day party.

Go for a spin on a ferris wheel. (There is method behind my madness, I swear.)

Make miniature chilli chocolate cupcakes with chilli chocolate ganache frosting. I have made these before, & they are unbelievable.

So… what are you doing for Valentine’s Day? I’m thinking about booking myself into a spa during the day, & getting dressed up & going out dancing with a bunch of friends that night. Sounds perfect to me!