What To Look for in a Valentine's Day Basket for Men or Women

What To Look for in a Valentine's Day Basket for Men or Women

Have you noticed feelings of love and romance saturating the air lately? Or maybe you've been amazed at how quickly your local grocery store replaced its Christmas decorations with gaudy displays of multicolored hearts and floating cupids with arrows at the ready. All these not-so-subtle clues mean that Valentine's Day is here, and it's time to start thinking about the perfect gift you'll give your significant other.  

Whether your special someone adores sweets (like chocolate-covered strawberries) or prefers gifts that can be used over and over (like cozy socks), you're almost guaranteed to find a gift basket that's a perfect fit. But not all gift basket options make thoughtful gifts. So to ensure your present is well received, here are a few things you should look for in Valentine's Day baskets for men or women.  

What Is a Thoughtful Gift?

A thoughtful gift is specifically chosen for a loved one based on that person's unique interests. It should also ideally be chosen specifically for the occasion. For example, Valentine's Day is a holiday specially reserved for showing the loved ones in your life how much you care. If you fail to offer a presentable gift on Valentine's Day, you might as well set up your bed in the doghouse.  

While there really isn't a single "perfect gift" out there, a gift basket can be a very thoughtful option. It's one of the most universally-loved Valentine's Day gifts for her and him. The nice thing about a gift basket is that it often contains multiple thoughtful gifts in a single, nicely-wrapped package. Whether you choose to purchase a convenient pre-made Valentine's gift basket or make your own, the recipient is sure to appreciate the time and effort you put into the gift. 

What Is the "3 Gift Rule"?

If you tend to go overboard when giving gifts for special occasions, you may find it helpful (and gentler on your bank account) if you and your significant other follow the "3-gift rule" this Valentine's Day. This rule is typically employed around Christmas, but it can also be used for any other holiday.  

The premise behind the 3-gift rule is that each person gets just three gifts, guided by specific categories. These categories can be anything you agree on. Here’s a common example of 3-gift rule categories: 

  • Gift #1: Something the person wants
  • Gift #2: Something the person needs
  • Gift #3: Something the person can wear 

Make the categories fit your relationship and interests! For example, you may decide to change gift #3 to something the person can read, something the person can eat, or something the person can watch. It's totally up to you. This rule takes a lot of pressure off of couples who don't know how many gifts their Valentine is expecting to receive for Valentine's Day. Just be sure to discuss the 3-gift rule before Valentine's Day arrives and pinky promise not to break the rules.  

The 3-gift rule can also be helpful if you like to buy gifts for your kids for Valentine's Day. For example, the first gift for each of your kids could be something fun, like a toy or game. The second gift might be practical, like a new sheet set for their bed. The third gift could be a “favorite” item like a much-loved treat or a new book in a favorite series. In addition to helping you save money when buying gifts for your kids, the 3-gift rule can also help guide your gift choices and make it easier to come up with unique gift ideas.  

What Is the Most Romantic Gift?

The type of gift you buy someone else for Valentine's Day depends largely on how serious your relationship is. If you're hanging out somewhere between a casual and committed relationship, you may want to go for a gift that's not too romantic or serious. On the other hand, if you're trying to express your devotion to someone you care deeply about, a romantic gift is your best option.  

If you're new to this relationship, you may wonder what's considered a romantic gift. Well, the answer is pretty varied. For some, a bouquet of red roses or other freshly-cut flowers is regarded as a highly romantic gesture. For others, Valentine's Day baskets full of delicious chocolate, cookies, and other treats are even more dreamy. You'll need to consider your loved one's unique preferences and ideals when choosing the most romantic gift. If you need additional ideas, here are some excellent romantic gift ideas that will make your Valentine swoon: 

  • A couples' massage
  • Gourmet chocolate
  • Gold or diamond jewelry
  • Silky pajamas
  • Expensive wine or champagne
  • Truffles or any other type of luxurious chocolate
  • A luxury sheet set
  • A monogrammed velour bathrobe
  • Perfume
  • Bath bombs or scented bath salts
  • A personalized painting or drawing featuring the two of you together
  • An engraved set of wine glasses
  • A Peace and Pampering Care Package

You may want to write down the above gift list ideas so you can refer to them in the future. While the gifts above are perfect for your Valentine, they're also ideal for Christmas, birthdays, or practically any other holiday.  

What Is Normally in a Gift Basket?

The most fun thing about gift baskets is that they're so unique and varied. You can find a gift basket that suits practically any personality and interest if you look hard enough. The trick is to figure out where to find the right type of basket for the person you love.  

You can try your luck at a local grocery store and hope you stumble across a gift basket that's a good fit for your significant other, but this is a risky move. Often, grocery stores carry a limited variety of gift baskets that may not be suitable for your Valentine. So instead, you're probably better off looking online for custom baskets that contain higher-quality treats and gift items.  

You can also choose custom delivery options when you shop for a basket online. For example, you can enter your loved one's work address during checkout if you want the package to surprise them at work. Or, you can arrange delivery to your house if you prefer to present your Valentine with the gift basket in person.   

If you're shopping for a pre-made gift basket, you'll soon discover that many of them contain the following types of items: 

  • Chocolate
  • Wine
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Cookies and other treats
  • Flowers
  • Coffee
  • Plush animals
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion
  • Gift cards
  • Books and movies
  • Candles 

Most of these items make great gifts for both men and women. However, if you can't find a basket that already contains items you want to give to someone you love, consider making your own basket from scratch. It can be a lot of fun to craft the perfect gift for the most important person in your life.  

What Shouldn't You Put in a Gift Basket?

 Now that you have some good ideas of things to add to your Valentine gift basket, it's time to go over things you should leave out. Yes, there are items you should avoid putting in gift baskets for a few reasons. First, your loved one probably already has these items. Second, they may send the wrong message (sort of like signing your wife up for a diet plan subscription for Christmas). Third, they just seem tacky. So these are the gifts you want to leave out of your gift basket this Valentine's Day: 

  • Kitchen or cleaning tools. Unless you’re appealing to a personal preference or hobby, some women may see gifts like these as a hint to do more chores. Not the message you want to send on Valentine’s Day.
  • Combining scented products and food. Highly scented personal products like body wash and lotions might be fun to get, but they can be a pretty personal choice. Opt out if you don’t know her preferred scent. And never combine these in the same gift basket as food. Scents are easily absorbed into the food’s flavor.  
  • A loofah. Almost every woman who wants a loofah already has one. They're cheap and easy to obtain, so it's probably best not to put one in your Valentine's day gift basket. 
  • Explicit gifts. Many people would be embarrassed to see explicit, adult-themed gifts on full display in a cellophane-wrapped gift basket. If you want to give an especially spicy gift, save it for a more discreet type of packaging. 
  • Refrigerated foods. Obviously, it's a bad idea to put foods requiring refrigeration in a gift basket. Even if you plan to give the basket to your loved one as soon as you finish making it, there's no guarantee that they'll be able to transfer the items in question to a refrigerator immediately. Any food you include should be shelf-stable. No one wants to receive a melted container of ice cream or moldy strawberries for Valentine's Day. 

Use your best judgment, your common sense, and your creativity when planning a custom basket for your significant other.  

Which Flower Is the Most Popular Valentine's Day Gift?

If you're in a pinch and need to come up with a Valentine's Day gift idea immediately, you can't go wrong with flowers. But the type of flowers you buy your girl matter. If you get the wrong type, she might assume that you view your relationship more casually than romantically. So here are some of the different flowers that are popular for Valentine's Day and what they mean.  

  • Roses: These are the quintessential Valentine's Day flowers. Roses are sleek, sophisticated, and fragrant. The red rose indicates passionate love, while white roses symbolize purity, reverence, and soul-deep love. Yellow roses are rarely appropriate for Valentine's Day unless you're giving them to a friend or child. They symbolize platonic affection and friendship. Pink roses can convey either platonic or romantic love. If you're just beginning a romantic relationship, you may want to gift pale pink roses. Deep pink roses symbolize a relationship that's beginning to blossom into a deeper commitment. Even so, not everybody loves roses. Consider some other lovely favorites—and don’t be afraid to ask what she likes the most!
  • Carnations: These visually dynamic flowers are reminiscent of simpler bygone days when romantic relationships were often innocent and pure. They're ideal for newer relationships that are just beginning to blossom. Incidentally, they're also one of the most affordable flower options out there, so they're great for young romantics who may be limited to a tight budget. 
  • Tulips: Though they're one of the rarer flowers available during Valentine's Day, tulips are a thoughtful — albeit unusual — flower option for your Valentine. They come in various intense colors and are a joy to receive. Red tulips are associated with pure love, while purple tulips are said to represent royalty. 
  • Lilies: The delicate lily is a favorite flower of many women and is a lovely selection for Valentine's Day. The lily is a symbol of purity, majesty, and devotion. There are many different colors to choose from, but white and pink lilies are particularly popular for romantic holidays.  

These are just a few of the delightful flower options you can choose from this Valentine's Day. Consider what the type and color of a flower says about your feelings—and let your relationship bloom! 

What is the Best Gift for a Girl on Valentine's Day?

What to give a girl for Valentine's Day is one of the age-old questions that stump men all over the world every year. But it's not as complicated as you might think. While most women love flowers, many are even more impressed by a gift that shows a little creativity and effort on your part. If you're serious about making your Valentine feel extra special, consider pampering her with one of the following gifts: 

  • A day at the spa
  • A weekend getaway to someplace she loves
  • A custom painting she can hang in her home
  • A personalized photo blanket
  • A sweet and delicious gift basket from Spoonful of Comfort
  • Anything hand-made by you
  • Her favorite type of chocolate or treat

At the risk of sounding cliché, you could add one more item to the above list: your time. One of the most common complaints women have about their significant others is that they don't get to spend enough uninterrupted time with them. So for Valentine's Day, ensure she knows your world revolves around her for 24 hours. Silence text messages and turn the video games off for the day. Eliminating distractions and showering your girl with the attention she deserves is one of the best gifts you can give. It's also one of the most effective ways to show your love.  

What Is the Best Gift for a Guy on Valentine's Day?

Guys aren't the only ones giving gifts to loved ones on Valentine's Day. Women also spend the first part of February looking for the perfect gift to show their love to the men in their lives. Unfortunately, ladies often have a difficult time finding Valentine's Day gifts for men because the most highly-marketed items this time of year are intended primarily for women. So if you're a gal who's struggling to figure out what to do for your guy this V-Day, don't worry! Beyond flowers, many gifts are just as enjoyable for men as they are for women. 

For example, chocolate is often seen as a traditional gift for females. However, most men love chocolate just as much as women do. There's a good reason for the old saying that to get to a man's heart, you must go through his stomach. So you're probably doing the right thing if you buy him gifts that include tasty food. A gift basket is one of your best options because you can stuff it full of cookies, gourmet snacks, and other goodies that will help you show your love.  

Here are some suggestions for the best food-related Valentine's Day gifts for him

  • Beef jerky
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Assorted nuts
  • Sausage
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts
  • Mac and cheese
  • Soup with rolls or bread bowls (such as the kind you'll find in the Just Because Gift Basket)
  • A Hickory Farms charcuterie board

 If you buy or make a gift basket that includes as many of the food items as you can get from the list above, congratulations. You've guaranteed that he will fall even more in love with you than he was before. Of course, food isn't the only thing guys like. If you want to make him feel really special, consider adding these items to his gift basket: 

  • A beanie
  • A new pair of running shoes
  • A slim leather wallet
  • A pair of earbuds
  • A portable speaker
  • His favorite cologne
  • A beard grooming kit
  • A wine subscription
  • An insulated thermos
  • A gift card to a favorite store or restaurant 

Don't discount sentimental gifts like cards and prearranged date nights, either. While these gifts are often considered ideal for women, men also value them.  

How Do You Make a Gift Basket Unique?

The most unique baskets are typically those you find online or make yourself. When you shop online for a custom basket, you can narrow your search results only to include baskets with certain items.  

For example, if you know she loves comfort foods like chocolate, soup, and cookies, you can search for gift baskets that contain those things. Similarly, if you know he's a fan of popcorn, sports, and coffee, then you can put together a basket that's guaranteed to please. The key to making the most unique gift basket is carefully considering the things your loved one enjoys, then figuring out ways to incorporate those themes into your basket. 

What Is a Traditional Valentine's Gift?

Fun and unusual gifts are always a joy to give, but you may be more inclined to give a traditional gift this Valentine's Day. If so, here's a brief list of some of the more traditional and safe gifts you can give: 

  • A red rose bouquet
  • Decadent chocolate truffles
  • A handwritten love poem
  • Jewelry
  • A scented candle
  • A dinner and movie night
  • Lingerie
  • Clothing
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Perfume or cologne 

These are the types of gifts that are traditionally well-received and won't ever go out of style. So if you're going for a classic vibe, you can't go wrong with any of these gifts.  

What Can You Use Instead of a Basket for Your Gift?

Baskets may be in short supply around Valentine's Day, or you may simply want to use a container that's a bit more unique. Whatever your reason may be, here are a few items you can use instead of a basket for your gift: 

  • Good old-fashioned wrapping paper
  • A box made from glued-together candy boxes
  • A cutting board
  • A bucket
  • A large bowl
  • A decorative tray
  • A mug
  • A cookie jar
  • A flower pot
  • A tote bag or purse
  • A picnic basket
  • A cosmetics bag 

These are all unique containers that can potentially be made into the perfect gift basket. But whatever you choose to use, make sure you present it so that it doesn't look like it was thrown together haphazardly. You still want the presentation to be beautiful and impressive.  

How Do You Display Items in a Gift Basket?

If you've never created a gift basket before, you may wonder how to attractively display items in your basket. When it comes to gift baskets, presentation is essential. The last thing you want is for everything to look like a jumbled mess. Here are a few steps to follow when displaying items in a gift basket.  

  • Step 1: Line the bottom of the basket with tissue paper or paper crinkles. Aim for at least a couple of inches. This will help prop your gift items up while cushioning them at the same time.  
  • Step 2: Tie item sets together. For example, if you include a set of paintbrushes in the basket for the artist you love, tie them together with a lovely bow. This will keep things looking tidy in the basket.  
  • Step 3: Arrange your items in the basket from tallest to shortest. Put the tallest items along the back and sides of the basket. Tuck a layer of tissue or crinkle paper in front of the first row of items and place a row of medium-sized items up against it. Reserve the space in front for the shortest and smallest items. This layout will ensure that your gift recipient will be able to see all of the items in the basket at a glance.  
  • Step 4: Secure all items in place by stuffing crinkle paper around their bases. This will keep them from bouncing around in the basket during delivery. If you're concerned about your items moving around despite your best efforts, consider gluing the bottoms of the items to the basket. Only do this for items packaged in boxes or wrapped in plastic.
  • Step 5: Cut a large square of cellophane that's big enough to wrap around the entire basket. (It’s often bigger than you think—try holding up the edges around the gift before your cut it!)
  •  Step 6: Place the basket in the center of the square of the cellophane, then gather the cellophane around the basket. 
  • Step 7: Tie the cellophane together with a ribbon.  
  • Step 8: Use a blow dryer to heat the cellophane from the bottom up gently. As the cellophane heats, it will shrink tightly around the items in the basket, so they're less likely to move around. 

If you can't find crinkle paper, you can also use packing paper, shredded wood, or tissue paper. But crinkle paper will generally look best and will provide good support for the items in your basket. It also comes in multiple colors, which makes it ideal for customized Valentine's Day gift baskets. 

Ultimately, it would help if you tried not to stress too much about putting together the "perfect" gift basket for your Valentine. As long as you spend some time thinking of sentimental gifts that showcase your love, you're in a good position to make this Valentine's Day the best one yet.

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