Emma Barbernell | Writer & Photographer
February 7, 2024
As Valentine’s Day approaches, don’t fret. I am here for all of your gift guide needs. It’s stressful to pick a present out for a special someone. Even if you’re balling on a budget, this still applies to you.
For your Palentine’s, the friend in your life that you can trust with anything, I have a few suggestions: a versatile option that everyone loves are Legos. Prices vary and depending their interest, you can select the perfect Lego for your pal. A more affordable option, get them a gift card to their favorite dessert place, so that their next sweet treat run will be on you. Lastly, if you don’t want to spend any cash, you can always create a collage for them, make them a playlist or write them a nice note/letter.
For the person who you don’t know where you stand with, your situationship: Here’s what I suggest… GET THEM NOTHING. Don’t waste a dime.
However, in the case that you actually like them and want to commit to them. This holiday is a perfect way to ask them to be official with a gift. Although cliché, flowers are perfect for anyone. To make a pretty bouquet, grab a couple bundles of flowers from Trader Joes, and arrange them yourself. Then wrap with the brown Trader Joe’s bag or Newspaper. This is thoughtful and gives you a chance to express your creativity.
To the people that would rather just go out and buy something but still want to keep it somewhat sentimental, a great option is always a nice candle. Some brands I recommend are, Le Labo, Boy Smells, Replica and MALIN+GOETZ.
For the wallet carrier in your life: Carhartt, Amazon and the local surf stores have great options.
Lastly, a stuffed animal. But not an average stuffed animal from Target, choose Jelly Cat this Valentine’s Day. They have hundreds of different foods and animals in plushie form.
Finally, for your soulmate, someone who you want to drop a bag on this month… I have a few ideas. Earlier I mentioned Legos, although they have many variations, I suggest picking from their Botanical collection. This way they can have the plant forever and you can make it a date.
If you want to personalize it a bit more: on Etsy, you can create your own roll of film keychain with photos of you and your partner. This is a keepsake that you can share with them forever.
An additional option for anyone. CONCERT TICKETS. Sometimes experiences are better than gifts.
Some masculine essentials that are a guarantee they’ll like, I recommend a hat or beanie (Arcteryx, Stance, Carharrt, Lids), a watch (Casio, Ebay, REI) and even some headphones (Apple AirPod Max, Sony XM4, or JBL). And of course, they need to smell great too. If they have a signature scent already, go ahead and pick up a refill or grab a discovery set (Le Labo, Commodity Fragrances). Lastly, a nice hoodie (Aritizia, Gildan, or Skims) and a pair of shoes (Adidas, New Balance, Jordans, or Doc Martens).
Senior, Mason Henderson shared with me that he was opting for the classic route this Valentine’s Day, with “roses and chocolates” for his boyfriend. Although basic, this is always a perfect romantic gesture.
For the woman in your life: A good water bottle (Stanley, Hydro Flask, or Yeti), she needs a couple bottles for all of her drinks; her hydration and caffeine sources. Jewelry is a tricky one, but if you pay attention to what she already wears just get her something similar (Local Boutique, Amazon, or Tiffany & Co). You also can never go wrong with a bag or purse because they are an everyday use. Canvas tote bags are everywhere nowadays: restaurants, thrift stores, coffee shops, and online websites. Check out your special someone’s favorite place and see if they have a tote bag! Baggu is also a great brand that has rose to popularity recently, that is somewhat affordable and sustainable. There are so many different colors and patterns to choose from. Lastly, a matching set. Either silk or cotton, you can find one on Amazon, Free People or even try Skims. Junior, Ava Goubert demands that you, “Buy your girlfriend the Lana Del Rey Skims collab NOW.”
Gift this season, whether you spend money or not, spread the love.