Gifts Not to Give This Valentine’s Day

Make sure to avoid these perilous presents to keep the mood romantic instead of tragic.

If you’ve been with the same person for years it can be a little difficult to buy for Valentine’s Day. You want to do something new, but aren’t sure what. Below you’ll find a list of things you’ll want to avoid as well as a list of helpful alternatives.

Novelty Toilet Paper

There are a surprising number of variations to this – you may see ones with hearts or even special messages related to Valentine’s Day. You’ll usually find this kind of thing in any number of novelty stores and, while it might seem funny in the moment, you might not feel that same way come February 14th. It can send a lot of odd messages and you aren’t sure exactly how they’ll be interpreted. So, maybe just skip the toilet paper this year.

Instead: Give customized candy.
You can find these in all kinds of places as well and they’re not only delicious, but thoughtful too. It combines the traditionalism of giving chocolate with the sweetness (no pun intended) of a personal touch.

Grave Plot

Buying a grave plot might be a good idea if you’re being responsible, but there are probably more romantic ways to say “we’ll be together forever.” This might put a little bit of a damper on the Valentine’s Day mood you’re trying to set.

Instead: Plan a trip.
Rather than focus on the end, focus on the present. So carpe diem today and plan a trip. Go to your favorite city, go to a place you’ve never been, just go. And, to save some money, plan the trip for a future date and just tell them about the trip on Valentine’s Day. That way you can book it based on your best availability and find a weekend that works best for both of you.

Car Decorations

You’ve seen them on birthdays, or maybe after a wedding, or even a graduation. Any excuse will do when friends and family insist on decorating someone else’s car with all manner of things. Usually it’s a soapy mix, but you can also find pre-made mixtures as well. And while it may be fun, you’re basically giving your loved ones a task to clean up later.

Instead: Clean and detail their car.
If your significant other treasures their car, this is the present for them. Sure, you can take it somewhere to get it cleaned, but it shows that you were willing to do the work if you do it yourself. And if you clean the inside as well as the outside, you can place little notes around the car that tell them just how much they mean to you.


Tattoos can be a great way to express your individuality. However, they’re permanently, well… permanent and if you surprise your partner by getting, say, their name tattooed on your arm and they don’t like it, you’ll be stuck with an unpleasant reminder of your poor choice. There are other ways to give them a message that will stand the test of time.

Instead: Get something engraved.
This is a timeless way to give your valentine a permanent message about how much you love them. You can buy a new piece of jewelry or watch and have it engraved. If you want to save money, get something they already own engraved. A personalized engraving can be anything from a message to simply their initials and adds an individualized look and feel to any gift.


We’ve all heard it, or even said it, before. “What do you want for Valentine’s Day?” “Nothing.” Even if that’s the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Anyone who has said that knows the vague feeling of disappointment in getting exactly what you asked for. Valentine’s Day is the time to really show how much you love the people in your life. It doesn’t have to be extravagant by any means, but even a little card that you made yourself shows that you’ve been thinking of them.

Instead: Anything.
Okay, that might a little vague, but it’s true (for the most part). And if you just can’t think of anything they’d want, there are plenty of seasonal options to choose from as well. Even a little Valentine’s Day box of chocolates or card can mean the world to someone who isn’t expecting anything.

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