Whether you have a long-term partner or you’re trying to impress a new love interest, here’s how to take a personal approach to present giving
Gift giving can be tough at any time of year, but the pressure to get it right on Valentine’s Day is ramped up a notch. To make life easier, give yourself plenty of time to plan the perfect pressie. “When you leave gift buying to the last minute, you’re more likely to grab whatever you can find, rather than choosing something really thoughtful and romantic,” warns expert gift buyer and personal concierge Abbie Allen of Lifestyle Elements.
At this time of year more than ever, it’s the thought behind the present that counts. “Valentine’s Day gifts should never be generic,” says entertaining expert and events styler Chyka Keebaugh. “Listen to what your partner mentions in conversation, notice if they’ve picked up a new hobby, or if they’ve ‘liked’ something on Pinterest. Think about what is going on in their life, then tailor their gift accordingly to make it extra special.”
Here’s how to choose the perfect gift for the love of your life…
The new partner
“Keep gifts for new partners simple and thoughtful,” advises Allen. “It’s not about going over the top or being flashy, it’s about trying to connect with them. You want to show that the experiences you’ve shared or the things you’ve learnt about them are important to you.” If you’re stumped for ideas, ask their friends and family for a few pointers. “This shows you’ve taken the initiative and made an effort to choose something they’ll really appreciate,” says Allen.
Keebaugh agrees: “Don’t go over the top with materialistic items when you’ve only known someone a short time. Gifting an organised activity for a new friend can be a great idea. Pack a beautiful picnic, complete with rug, jug of flowers, sun hats and a great playlist of music to set the scene.”
- Ted Baker Nude Citrus Bloom 'Jet Set Go' Travel Set, $49.95 This passport holder and luggage tag are a promise of adventures to come. Add a hand written card about the places you’d like to see with her.
- Your Tea Glass Tumbler with Bamboo Lid, $30 The perfect pressie for a tea lover. Pair with a box of her favourite tea and luxury biscuits to personalise it.
- Bose SoundSport In-ear Headphones, $139 If pounding the pavements together is your thing, download her favourite tunes onto her device, then give her these headphones.
- Ivory & Deene Round Beach Towel, $99 This beach towel is big enough for two. Amp up the romance by packing a picnic to eat on it – you can’t go wrong with champagne, fresh fruit and cheese.
- Herschel Novel Duffle, $159.95 Buy a travel guide for somewhere you’re hoping to visit together one day and pop it inside this chic duffle bag for a perfect package.
- Gentlemen's Hardware 6-in-1 Barbecue Multi-Tool, $69.95 A bottle opener is only boring if it doesn’t have any meaning. Team this super cool one with a bottle of wine you’ve enjoyed together.
- WAW Handplanes Wedge Fish, $159.95 Wrap this beautiful wooden handplane in a box along with some food for a barbecue; it’s the gift of a perfect beach day.
- Alldock Medium Bamboo Base with White Top, $189 This docking station charges phones and tablets so he can keep it at your place, or at work. It’s the perfect way for the two of you to stay connected.
The long-term lover
“It can be easy to feel you’ve run out of ideas for romantic gifts when you’ve been with someone for a long time,” says Allen. “The key to choosing successful gifts for a long-term partner is to tap in to shared memories or really think of something outside the box that will mean a lot to them.”
“Perhaps you have a bundle of old love letters or photos from your partner that you can make into something special,” says Keebaugh. “Create a Spotify list of songs that mean something to you both or recreate a romantic favourite meal. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning to turn an ordinary gift into a really special one.”
- Harpers Project Carrara Marble Clock, $99 This clock is beautiful, but write a card telling her how you can’t wait to spend more hours and minutes together and it becomes the ultimate romantic pressie.
- Zuny: Bookend Classic French Bulldog, $99.95 As cute as it is functional, this classic and minimal, yet whimsical design bully makes a perfect companion in the home. For now.
- HK Living Glass Greenhouse, $440 Fill this mini greenhouse with her favourite plants or herbs as a way of giving her flowers all year round.
- Eva Solo Decanter Carafe Wine Aerator, $125 Decant her favourite bottle of wine into this, then cook her dinner to go with it.
- Ivory & Deene Hammock Chair, $99 Re-create a favourite holiday in your back yard by giving him this hammock, along with a good novel and a crate of his favourite beer.
- mbeat Vintage Wood Turntable with Bluetooth, $129.95 Convert old vinyl records he loved from his childhood to digital files with this USB turntable.
- RedBalloon Private Stand Up Paddleboarding Lesson, $120 The couple that plays together, stays together. Ditch the weekend chores, book a morning on the water together, and remember why you fell in love.
Gentlemen's Hardware Double-Edged Safety Razor, $79.95
Pair this razor with the aftershave he wore when you first met for a nostalgic gift.