10 Failsafe Valentine's Day Presents For Anyone, Even You

By Holly Brockwell on at

We're a cynical bunch here at Giz UK, and frankly we have no time for soppy, lovey-dovey Valentine's gift guides that encourage you to spend money you don't have trying to buy someone's love. Besides, this is 2020: everything's on fire except our loins.

So instead of a weirdly gender-split guide to products that have been out for years but now come in pink or red, here's a list of stuff you might like to buy for your significant other, or yourself, or just to throw in the canal because it's  been that kind of year.

1. Some really good headphones

Everyone needs a good pair of headphones. Literally everyone. Whether they go in for the easily-lost AirPod, the weird necklace-like running things, old-school wired 'phones or mega-comfy over-ears, pay attention to their preferences and then get them something that looks and sounds gorgeous.

For our money, it's got to be these.

2. Sassy chocolate

Edible gifts usually go down pretty well (although obviously think carefully about whether they're vegan, lactose intolerant etc before impulse-buying something you'd like yourself), and Valentine's chocolate doesn't have to be sickeningly sweet. At least, not on the outside.

We reckon this 'Thanks for putting up with my shit' chocolate bar from Firebox is pretty spot on, especially since you can give it to pretty much anyone and it's still accurate. You can also get personalised M&Ms in a truly dizzying array of packages, but they probably won't print anything obscene.

3. Pay for something they use

Or upgrade them from the free version to the ad-free one. Don't try to buy them a subscription to something they don't already use (no one wants to be signed up for a year of Deezer when all their playlists are on Apple Music), just get them a gift card for their preferred service.

Options include Spotify Premium, Netflix, Apple Music, Now TV, and various others.

4. Good underwear

No, we do NOT mean red lacy crap, or stuff with nipple cutouts and no boob support. We mean actually nice, quality underwear that they'll want to wear whether someone's coming over or not.

For instance, Oddballs do underwear subscription options for men, women, teens and even kids, and the giftee can choose from lots of appealing options to get something that works for them. For instance, women can choose seamless pants, thongs, boxers, briefs, bralettes or socks, and there's a choice of funky colours and patterns or more reserved options. We guarantee whatever they choose, it'll be appreciated a lot more than those edible pants you were considering.

5. Actual physical photos

We take so many pictures, but only post a tiny proportion of the ones that show us in the very best light, half of which go into an ephemeral Instagram story that's gone the next day.

Meanwhile, everyone appreciates those photo display walls on Pinterest, but no one actually makes the effort to get their snaps printed. Which is why one of those little photo printers makes a lovely present: it's like receiving permission to put your photos on the wall where they belong, without agonising over which ones to pick or getting lost in reviews of ninety million photo printing sites.

Fujifilm's Instax Mini Link is cute, easy to use, and the polaroid-like white-bordered film is just the right size: about the same as a credit card, so you can keep a special one in your wallet. Aww.

6. A really good card

Sometimes you don't need to add to someone's pile of stuff to show them what they mean to you. There are some truly excellent Valentine's cards out there that don't play into boring stereotypes or old-fashioned tropes. But you won't find 'em in Clintons.

Instead, head over to the excellently-named Curious Pancake, where you'll find cards that range from sweary to funny to uncannily accurate for your Tinder-spurred situationship. Personally, I'm hoping for this one.

7. A thing finder

Everyone's got a use for one of these. It's a little doodad that you attach or stick to the thing you're forever losing (your bag, your keys, your water bottle, the cat, the bloody Sky remote...) and then you can ring your item. That's it really. It's the gift of not constantly losing things.

Chipolo ONE is a good'un -- it's water resistant, the battery lasts up to two years (it's replaceable as well, if you haven't lost the tracker itself by then), and it has a range of 60 metres. It can also tell you if you're about to leave the house without your thing. Handy.

8. A game they haven't already played 9000 times

Check our guides to the best card games for adults that aren't Cards Against Humanity, and then just buy Joking Hazard because it's amazing. If they've already got it, grab some of the extension packs, or go for the newest game from the Cyanide & Happiness stable: Trial By Trolley. Technically it's not out 'til the 28th of February, but you can print the preorder and put it in their card.

9. Non-threatening post

Everyone likes getting stuff in the post, but these days it's mostly train fines and adverts for letting agents intended for your landlord. Which is why it's still a nice present to sign someone up for a subscription box, a magazine subscription (may we suggest Private Eye in these politically-ridiculous times?) or a fluffy animal sponsorship.

If you can't afford any of that, just cut up some magazines and send them a nice message. They'll be so relieved when they realise it's not a ransom note, it won't really matter what it says.

10. A Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy

If they don't love the adorable Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy and immediately declare it the best present they've ever received, you should disown them immediately and spend your Valentine's Day with someone else, because they're dead inside.

Main image: personalised M&Ms