This topic comes to me with a bit of hesitancy because of the consumerism idea. I truly believe that you can give something to someone without promoting materialism or cruelty. With the state of divisiveness we have, vote with your dollars this Valentine’s Day.
The realm of gifts and experiences that money can buy is infinite. So instead of attempting to catalog and blog the infinite, I will keep this blog to a few basics that are very classic gifts for Valentine’s Day. I will also have a short list of wildcard gifts for your vegan valentine.
Gift #1: Flowers
Whether it’s for your spouse, mother, or grandmother, fresh cut flowers brought or delivered to your dear valentine have been a classic gift that usually is devoid of any real thought but still are so pretty that the recipient is stunned and forgoes any real sentiment put into the gift. Unless, this person has researched your birth flower at least knows the flowers you like, there really isn’t much thinking that goes into buying pretty flowers. In the end, those freshly-cut flowers end up dying in a week or less and going into the trash can. They are pricey, they don’t last very long, and they are an eco-disaster.
While there are plenty of other gifts you can buy your beloved, if he or she is still a big fan of receiving a bouquet of tulips or roses my suggestion to you is to make an alternative bouquet. Oddly enough, I found some alternatives in a wedding article about bouquets on Domino. You can buy or make bouquets out of many other beautiful materials; felt flowers, brooches, feathers, succulents, and my favorite two which are paper and herbs. There are other options listed and they are accompanied by beautiful pictures of those examples.
I think an herbal bouquet is beautiful because of the fragrance it can lend wherever it is being housed. I love how affordable this type of bouquet can be and that it can eventually be used to cook a yummy meal for another romantic night after Valentine’s Day.
Also, I really love the idea of paper flowers because they could really be out of any kind of paper and have any kind of customization to them. For example, your significant other could be a Jane Austen junkie, musically-inclined, a comic book nerd, a painter… and as long as it can be found or made on paper – you can make flowers from it.
One innovative personal friend of mine, Papercraft & Roses, uses many different kinds of textures, colors, and prints of paper and buys from eco-conscious sources to make beautiful flowers perfect for centerpieces, bouquets, flower crowns, etc. My personal favorite are her line of roses made from seed paper that can be used to grow wildflowers and herbs. This crosses my favorite two together actually!
They are equally as beautiful as commercial, fresh-cut flowers and a morally happier way to spend on your sweetheart.
Gift #2: Chocolates
I’m sure you’ve walked into CVS or whatever your go-to convenience drugstore is and have walked through aisles of heart-shaped candy boxes of the cheapest most disgusting chocolate they can charge you for. Before becoming a Stay-at-Home Mum, I was an elementary school teacher. And every Valentine’s Day, I would get these little $5 boxes of candy that my students’ mommies made sure to buy for the teacher. They were sweetly-covered with a little handwritten message in chicken scratch or carefully-lettered cursive but inside that box was horrible, awful stuff.
As part of trying to purchase more thoughtfully and intentionally, there are a few great vegan chocolate brands I’ve come across that have delicious-looking, cruelty-free chocolate in beautiful Valentine displays.
On the expensive, but excruciatingly beautiful side are Vegan Treats‘ two gourmet chocolate boxes called Fatally Yours and Vegan Valentine. They also have ultimate deluxe versions that sample other chocolates in their shop. Definitely impressive, beautifully-made chocolate, gluten-free, and vegan.
On the much more affordable side, is Buddha Chocolate. They offer chocolate in the form of bars, cups, and bark. They are gifted in simple heart-shaped boxes or in heart-adorned bags. Prices are very reasonable and look decadent even for this price point. The two that are topped with roses are Rose Hazelnut Bark and Rose Creme Cups. These had me sold at ‘rose.’ I love flowers and the idea of a cross between roses and chocolate is so perfect for a sap like me.
There are also plenty of recipes on our Pinterest account for vegan chocolates. I’ve already given a couple of them on Part 1 in the form of dessert or fudge. But strictly in the name of handheld chocolate, I’ve chosen a Chocolate Cashew Butter Heart Cup from the Paleo Running Momma, No Bake Raspberry Chocolate Truffles from My Food & Happiness, and Vegan Chocolate Caramels from A Virtual Vegan. Give any of these a try if you’d rather make lovely chocolates yourself.
Gift #3: Wildcard Gifts
Here’s a list of other vegan or sustainable gift options for you. No commissions here just suggestions! Now there’s plenty of brands for all of these things but here are just a few I’ve picked out. There are also plenty of pre-made Vday gift lists on google. I’m sure you already knew that though!
- Cute vegan cards and artwork on Etsy (hover for artist)
- Vegan cheese and wine
- Vegan subscription boxes or magazines for a token of love all year long
- Thrifted jewelry, accesories, or clothing
- An Herb Garden Fish Tank
- Soy candles in recycled glass from Paddywax
- Vegan perfume or beauty products from Pacifica
Valentine’s day is 1 week away so I hope you and your loved ones make the most of a perfect opportunity to show them that you love them. Your husband, wife, mother, son, dog, neighbor, co-workers — show them all that you care!
The Handy Vegan,