How to Avoid the Cliché for Valentine’s Day

Love it or loathe it, February 14th is on the horizon and is bound to bring an influx in sales for anyone working in the heart-shaped balloon, rose or chocolate industry.

Not that we’re saying that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, everybody likes to feel loved — and by the beginning of February, the chocolate reserves from Christmas are starting to look a bit sparse!

But if you’re thinking of getting that special someone a gift, consider doing something a bit different from the ordinary this year.  And if you’re not sure what that ‘something different’ might be, we’ve listed a run-down of the most clichéd gifts for Valentine’s Day to help you know what NOT to buy – along with some suggestions for personalised variations that could make all the difference…

Storyboard for Robot Love animated valentine's ecard - boy robot gives girl robot his heart

Get their attention – Valentine’s E-Greeting “Robot Love”

Coupon books

Whilst you might get a few brownie points for making rather than buying your gift, a coupon book that offers vouchers for a ‘free foot massage’ or a ‘night off cooking the dinner’ isn’t exactly original. Instead, try making some “Open when…” letters. These are individual hand-written letters created by you and designed to be opened by your other half on different occasions throughout the year — like when they’re celebrating their birthday or feeling under the weather.

A Dozen Red Roses

Everybody loves roses, right? Well yes, some people do and some people don’t. Part of getting your Valentine’s gift right is knowing which camp your partner is in.  If they’re strictly against, choose instead a beautiful bouquet incorporating their favourite posies. And if they don’t like flowers at all, well, you could always try making these?

A Heart Shaped Box of Chocolates

For this Valentine’s Day cliché, it’s not so much the content of the gift that seems a little tired but the method of transport. Chocolates are always a winner but rather than opting for a heart-shaped box that looks like a prop from a Richard Curtis film, be creative and make your own Valentine’s selection box of all their favourite chocolate bars. Or you could be really clever and create a chocolate bar themed story like this one.

A Mixed CD

Now we don’t want to slag off the classic romantic gift that is the mixed CD (or cassette tape if you’re as old as we are) because in the right circumstances it can be the loveliest and most personal gift you can give. But it’s really only something you can get away with giving once, otherwise the gesture loses meaning and can seem just as thoughtless as a withered bouquet bought on the forecourt of a petrol station. For a twist on the traditional mixed tape gift, why not create a slideshow of your favourite pictures accompanied by the song that encapsulates everything you love about your Valentine.

Teddy Bear

You know the kind: small, fluffy and holding an over-sized red heart that reads ‘Be My Valentine’ in italics. There’s not that much that we can say about these except, unless you’re dating an Arctophile (a.k.a. teddy bear collector), save your money and instead choose something that has a bit more significance to your relationship.

Love Hearts

When you’re standing in your local shop on February 13th frantically trying to pick out a present for your significant other, a packet of Love Hearts might seem like the obvious (and easy) choice. But, again, unless Love Hearts have had a profound role in your relationship, it’s probably not a good idea to invest in them on this particular occasion. And if you do decide to go for these opinionated candied treats, at least have a go at being a bit creative with them…


If you think Valentine’s Day itself is just one big cliché, you might opt to ignore the whole thing altogether thus presenting your long suffering partner with one of the most common and lacklustre gifts of any Valentine’s – the invisible one. Your argument might be ‘it’s a made up holiday!’ And our retaliation to that would be ‘so what!’ When all’s said and done, it’s a day that encourages people to stop for a second and share their love… And who can argue with that? Which brings us neatly to our final point…

What makes these Valentine’s gifts so cliché?

It’s not because they’re not appreciated, but probably more to do with the fact they generally don’t require much thought. They speak to everyone and not the individual.

That age old adage: ‘it’s the thought that counts’ is never more relevant than here – because gifts aren’t important but taking the time to show you care is.

Preview of Mr Cheese Valentine's Ecard - Mr Cheese on a bike with caption "I wheelie like you"

Something a bit different – Mr Cheese Valentines Ecard

Do something a bit different to show someone you care – send a personalised Valentine’s Day e-card with Katie’s Cards.

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