Spoiler alert: This post is definitely about finding local Valentine’s gifts for that special someone. Or someones. Even if that someone is YOU.
For a day meant to celebrate love, February 14th can strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned gift giver. Finding the best gift for Valentine’s Day is entirely subjective and often mysterious. So many questions: Is my person expecting something specific? Do they think I already know what that something is? Do I have any idea what that something is?
There, there. As always, Auntie Erin is here to help. Never one to shirk my responsibility to give advice, solicited or not, I will now wade into this most delicate and confusing emotional quagmire.
How can I find perfect local Valentine’s gifts?
How can you get this Valentine’s gift thing wrong? Let me count the ways. On second thought, let’s keep it positive. How can you get it RIGHT?
Gift local! You’re much more likely to find local personalized gifts when you shop close to home at a small independent business. For more about supporting the local economy and choosing gifts that give back, check out vLife’s explainer video.
Don’t follow the crowd. The market is absolutely saturated with “unique Valentine gifts for her” and “Valentine gift ideas for men”. When you discover your local, finding a special and even one-of-a-kind gift is easy. Check out vLife providers Sankofa Afrikan Gifts and ARJewelry just to get started. Sankofa brings Afrika to the world through beautiful Africentric products. They’re also proud to offer a range of Black Lives Matter products to help you show your love and support. Inspired by the Ancient Greeks and Pharaohs of Egypt, ARJewelry is designed to bring out your inner goddess, and who couldn’t use a little of that right about now?
Try a local travel experience. You can’t go far, but embrace the beauty of Nova Scotia! Check out this blog post for some cool winter travel ideas. With good luck and good management, access to the Maritimes will return this spring.
Support local restaurants. Some are just reopening now. Go spend some cash at your favourites, to make sure they’re still here next Valentine’s Day! Check out this post about Valentine’s Day specials in Halifax.
Buy local flowers. Look for local bouquet delivery services (not those sneaky 1-800 florists that pop up first on your google search).
How can I get better at finding local Valentine’s gifts?
I know it’s a cliché, but think outside the box and really consider what your person would appreciate. For many of us right now, that means home comforts. We need things that make us and our nests feel, smell, and look good.
vLife providers are here for you: Simply Go Natural Cosmetics is a Black-owned Halifax business that makes natural, organic, non-toxic skin and hair care products. Ask about their curbside pickup and free local delivery options! Momma Bear’s Boutique, an eco-friendly one-stop-shop at Paddler’s Cove in Dartmouth, features home and personal care items, accessories, and gifts from a variety of local artists, makers, and providers. At Olivicana Soap, a husband-and-wife team makes skin-nourishing soaps using all-natural organic ingredients.
Alternatively, think inside the box. The heart-shaped box, that is. Nova Scotia is absolutely TEEMING with local chocolatiers, including Rousseau Chocolatier in Halifax; Jill’s Chocolates in Iona, Cape Breton; Peace by Chocolate in Antigonish; Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop in Elmsdale; Appleton’s Chocolates in Tatamagouche; Petite Patrie Chocolate in Canning; and Chapel Cove Chocolate in New Glasgow. (If I missed any, let me know in the comments!)
To whom should I give my lovingly selected local Valentine’s gifts?
Remember taping the brown paper bag onto the front of your wooden school desk so all the other kids could pop their Valentines in? (Am I dating myself here?) The night before, you’d painstakingly write out a little cardboard Valentine for every kid in your class. You’d either make them yourself, or if you were really lucky your mom would get you those store-bought Valentines with Scooby Doo or Strawberry Shortcake on them (yeah, for sure I’m dating myself).
I think it’s time to revive that tradition. Consider Valentine gifts for kids, Valentine gifts for grandchildren, and Valentine gifts for teens, parents, friends, and co-workers. It doesn’t have to be anything big: A little bag of candy, a favourite tea, or a single flower.
And how are you going to present these small tokens of your great esteem? Old-school style, Scotch-taped to a beautifully handcrafted locally made card, of course! Try vLife providers Maeisart Gallery and Three Ps in a Pod Art Studio, as well as locally made Halifax Paper Hearts and Inkwell Boutique — just to name a few! (Again, go ahead and post other local card makers in the comments.)
How can I make sure I receive good local Valentine’s gifts?
Let’s face it — this is the important part. Forthwith, my hot tip(s):
Casually leave this blog post open on the laptop your person is always stealing borrowing because they “just need to print one thing” or “just need to post those old golf clubs on Facebook Marketplace.”
Ask! I know this might sound unorthodox, and everyone loves a surprise, but 22 years of marriage have taught me that expecting your person to read your mind is pretty much like, well, believing in mind-reading. Hints are fine, suggestions are good, but specific instructions are best.
Buy them yourself. 😉
Should I treat myself to a local Valentine’s gift?
Valentine’s Day is NOT just for lovers. It’s a time to let anyone you care about know how you feel — even and maybe especially yourself.
These are strange times. With some discipline and good luck, February 14th will be the one and only pandemic Valentine’s Day of our lifetime. By next year, you’ll be back to hugging and kissing and canoodling. Who knows? By then you might be so excited you’ll kiss practically anybody!
Happy vDay from vLife. May all your local Valentine’s gifts hit the mark with the precision of Cupid’s arrow!