Buy This, Not That: 5 Alternatives to Cheesy V-Day Gifts

Buy This, Not That: 5 Alternatives to Cheesy V-Day Gifts

It's easy to fall into mushy tropes when shopping for a Valentine's Day gift. Just take a brief stroll down the heart-filled holiday aisle at Walgreens and tell me you're not inexplicably inspired to buy a bunch of cheap pink nonsense just because it's there.

But it doesn't have to be this way! Whatever the cheesy Valentine's Day gift you're considering, I guarantee there are dozens of better options. Here are a few buy this/not that examples to help you get though this stressful season unscathed by an angry lover.

The Cheesy Gift: A Store-Bought Card

Nothing says "I love you" like a card written by someone else, right?! No matter how sweet the sentiment expressed on a store-bought card, it's still kind of a cop-out to give your significant other something so generic.

A Better Option: Make it Yourself

homemade card

Photo: Flickr/lindsaydeebunny

The results from our recent Valentine's Day Survey confirmed my hunch on this one: people go crazy for homemade cards. A handmade card was one of the most prevalent answers to the free response question,"What’s the best inexpensive romantic gesture you’ve ever received?"

Said one respondent who prefers homemade cards, "It's not about the price of the gift--it's about the thought."

To sweeten the pot even more, add a bit of your own sappy prose into the mix.  Another survey respondent said: "A beautiful poem written in a homemade Valentine's Day card was the best gift I ever received!"

The Cheesy Gift: Lingerie

v-day-itemsThis is more trashy than cheesy, but it's one of those Valentine's Day gifts that just never seems to die. Giving lingerie as a Valentine's Day gift says "I'm looking for one VERY SPECIFIC THING from you later! No pressure!"

Sure, if your significant other is dropping hints about the new Victoria's Secret collection then she's probably going to be OK with a getting some V-Day lingerie, but if you're in a new or conservative relationship, this is likely not going to fly.

Valentine's Day is supposed to be about celebrating love, and presenting the object of your affection with likely ill-fitting unmentionables is not the way to show her how much her company means to you.

(PSST: If your sweetheart HAS requested lingerie, use code SPRING15 to save up to $55 off online orders at Victoria's Secret!)

A Better Option: A Fuzzy Robe

bathrobeBut you know what DOES say "I appreciate our time together in a totally non-creepy and adorable way"? A fuzzy robe! These babies are perfect for cozy nights in with your beloved, nights filled with Netflix binges, home-cooked meals and, of course, tons of snuggles.

The sentiment here is very "sweatpants, hair tied, chillin' with no makeup on," and as Drake proved with this smash hit, there's nothing more romantic than being told how beautiful you are when you're in straight lounge mode. Need robe ideas? Here ya go:

The Cheesy Gift: A Stuffed Animal

teddy bearStuffed singing bears holding hearts that read "I Wuv U!" are the PERFECT Valentine's Day gift if you're dating a seven-year-old child. Otherwise, this gift says "I totally forgot it was Valentine's Day so I ran to Target and grabbed the first cutesy thing I could find on the sale rack." A good rule of thumb for Valentine's Day presents is if you can imagine your grandma's weird friend Gayle having a collection of something, you probably shouldn't buy it as a present for your significant other.

A Better Option: A Real, Live Puppy

puppyThis is something you'll have to think out thoroughly before gifting, because pets are obviously a big responsibility.

That being said, adopting an adorable puppy with your significant other signifies your commitment to the relationship and your desire to get serious.

This isn't the right gift for a new lover or a fleeting fancy, but if you're in it for the long-haul with an animal lover, a slobbery kiss from an excited new puppy will probably give you quite a few brownie points.

Where can you adopt a puppy? Here are some resources:

The Cheesy Gift: Couples Gloves

couples glovesUgh. I'd like to extend an open invitation to the general public to loudly shame me if they ever see me using one of these mortifying monstrosities. I like holding hands as much as the next gal, but I don't need a special glove to enclose both of our hands while I do it.

My partner and I can each wear our own gloves and comfortably walk hand-in-hand without totally embarrassing ourselves. If you're thinking of giving this to your significant other as a cutesy V-Day gift, think again, please. Let's not let this trend gather any more steam than it has to.

A Better Option: Texting Gloves

Cute Texting GlovesInstead of gifting your beloved with a mutant glove to fit both of your hands, why not give him or her a pair that will allow them to text you easily in any weather? OK, I admit this is kind of cheesy, but it's also pretty sweet.

As an added bonus, you'll be enabling them to play their favorite smartphone game in any weather, and that alone should earn you a big, juicy kiss.

The Cheesy Gift: "Ready for Romance" Tuxedo and Evening Gown Snuggies


If this picture doesn't bring fear into your heart then I don't know what will.

Every time I think the Snuggie craze is finally over, I'll sit down on a friend's couch and find myself eye-to-eye with one of these ridiculous sleeved blankets. I'm assuming that Snuggie's marketing team wants to see how far towards the edge of insanity they can push me, because that's the only logical explanation for their Valentine's Day themed "Ready for Romance" line of tuxedo and evening gown Snuggies.

If my boyfriend is giving me a Snuggie that's pretending to be an evening gown, I'm taking that as a sign that to mean we've given up on the whole romance thing all together. These Snuggies say "we're not attractive, social or fun enough to leave the house in an actual evening gown or tux, so let's just throw these babies on, close all the curtains, lock all the doors, and accept our fate as hideous recluses!" Happy Valentine's Day indeed!

A Better Alternative: A Fancy Dinner

ceremony-407153_640A fancy (or just tasty) dinner is something no one, whether single, married or in a poly-amorous relationship with their pet fishes, should miss out on. Dressing up in REAL fancy clothes and taking your sweetie out to a swanky meal is the quintessential Valentine's Day activity for a reason: it's super romantic. Who doesn't love drinking expensive wine and eating delicious food, all delivered to you on a silver platter? This gift says "I want to show you off and take you out!" Which is something everyone wants to hear.

The Cheesy Gift: A Pizza Proposal

pizza hut

This was a real, actual thing.

Pizza Hut pulled a V-Day publicity stunt back in 2012 with the $10,010 "Big Box Proposal" dinner, which included a ruby red ring, a limo service, flowers, a fireworks show, a videographer, a photographer, and, of course, a $10 pizza and bread stick dinner box.

This package was intended to entice the man or woman of your dreams into agreeing to marry you, because nothing screams MARRIAGE MATERIAL!! like dropping 10K to propose over some mediocre bread sticks. It's not clear whether or not anyone actually took Pizza Hut up on this offer, but sadly it doesn't look like it's going to be available again this year.

Still, many pizza places do offer heart-shaped pizzas on Valentine's Day. and that's about as LITERALLY CHEESY a gift as you can find, am I right?!

A Better Alternative: A Heart Shaped Pizza

Photo: Flickr/revrev

Photo: Flickr/revrev

OK but seriously someone should really buy me a heart-shaped pizza this year.

Check out our deals and coupons on this amazing cheesy treat: