man giving gift

Christmas might have just ended, but it’s already time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day gifts! And while tradition calls for boxes of chocolate or bouquets of roses, these creative flower alternatives will spice up your V-day routine. (No, chocolate isn’t on the list, either!)

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), fewer and fewer people are celebrating Valentine’s Day. Those who do celebrate, however, are spending more and more. A record high of $20.7 billion was spent in 2019 on gifts, cards, and chocolates. But these gifts are just for romantic partners—they’re for friends, family, and coworkers, too.

If you plan on spreading the love this February, these unique flower alternatives can help. They’re perfect if you’re buying gifts for lots of people—and therefore need lots of ideas! Or if you’re simply looking for a fresh take on an age-old tradition. And if you’re reading this just days before February 14, check out our ideas for last-minute gifts!

1. Custom Playlist

Perfect for: Travel Buddies

Do you and your partner love to hit the open road? Hand select a travel playlist for your next trip. Even better—take a trip for Valentine’s Day and debut your playlist. Then, share it with them so they can listen again and again. Each song becomes a mini love note that won’t wilt—making them timeless flower alternatives.

2. Star Map of the Night You Met

Perfect for: The Love of Your Life

See exactly what stars aligned with a customized star map from the night you met true love. At the time, you probably didn’t know you met the love of your life. Which means you also didn’t chart the stars that night. The good news is that The Night Sky can do that for you! Simply choose your poster color, plug in the date and location of your first meeting, and wait for the print to arrive.

3. Photo Book

Perfect for: Long-term Relationships

If you’ve been with your partner for a long time, you’re bound to have lots of pictures together! Browse your friendship page on Facebook to see any photos you’ve been tagged in together, or uploaded on your own. Then visit a website (like Shutterfly) to compile a personalized keepsake book

4. A Bottle to Share

Perfect for: Home Date Night

Maybe you and your partner decided to stay in for a no-stress Valentine’s Day. If so, grab a bottle of your favorite drink to share. Don’t over-spend (no stress, remember?) but maybe spend a few extra dollars for a higher shelf, special occasion drink. If it’s liquor (and not wine) have a glass or two and save the rest. Keep it for future special occasions—like birthdays, promotions, or next Valentine’s Day.

5. Cooking Class

Perfect for: Aspiring Chefs

cooking classes as flower alternatives

Invest in your partner’s hobby, passion, or side hustle. Book a class you can take with them, or pay for a learning series for them to take solo. You’ll know best which is best for your partner! Whatever you choose, make sure it fits into their schedule. For a one-time class, make plans with them for that date and time, so their calendar is free. For a long-term training, you may need to be a little sneakier, and even ask a friend to help so they don’t suspect it coming from you.

6. Fuzzy Throw Blanket

Perfect for: Movie Night Fridays

Whether your partner is a reader, movie watcher, or couch napper, a warm throw blanket won’t go unused. It might seem like a simple gesture, but it shows how well you know your significant other. If you really want to go the extra mile, pair it with a movie to watch together, or a book to add to their reading list. Together, they’ll make the perfect flower alternatives.

7. Spa Day

Perfect for: Your Favorite Hard Worker

Everyone needs “me time” but not everyone takes it. If it’s been a particularly stressful year, encourage your partner to unwind and unplug with a spa gift certificate. You can buy a couple’s package for some joint relaxation, or let them enjoy on their own. Again—you’ll know what your partner will enjoy the most!

8. Your Favorite Book

Perfect for: New Relationships

books as flower alternatives

Yes, it’s a little strange to buy a book for the giver, and not the receiver. But by reading your favorite book, your partner gets to know you better. It’ll bring you two closer—and that’s romantic! If you’re not a reader (or they’re not), choose a favorite movie, album, or hobby.

9. “Of the Month Club” Subscription

Perfect for: Amateur Hobbyists

Bacon. Beer. Tea. Candle. Anything your partner enjoys, you can get them a monthly subscription. Each month, they’ll receive a new item to try. While subscriptions vary from site to site, you can usually purchase a subscription for three, six, or twelve months. That way, your flower alternatives fit perfectly within your budget.

10. Touch Bracelets or Lamps

Perfect for: Long-distance Relationships

Long-distance love can be challenging, especially during the Valentine’s Day season. If all the commercials and candy makes you feel homesick for your partner, send them one half of a touch bracelet or lamp set. The bracelets are waterproof, and perfect for on-the-go couples. And the lamps can be color-coded, so you can communicate different moods using different colors for your own secret code.

11. Fill-in-the-Blank Love Book

Perfect for: Married Couples

Although you appreciate your partner, it’s easy to forget to tell them. That’s where a blank love book comes in! Following the prompts, you can write out all the things you love most about your partner, including special memories and favorite moments. Your partner can read it all at once, or over the course of the year, when they are having a particularly bad day.

12. Picnic Basket

Perfect for: The Romantic

Instead of making reservations for a fancy dinner, pack your own! Order your partner’s favorite meal to-go, or make it together for a day full of romance. Then, head to a nearby park or hike to your favorite overlook. If you love picnic lunches, but don’t love how cold February is in your state, hike over to your living room and cuddle up on the floor. (And then go for a real picnic in the summertime!)

13. Anything Engraved

Perfect for: The Practical Partner

If your significant other isn’t into gifts for the sake of gifts, consider engraving something they need replaced—like a new wallet, weekend bag, or favorite scarf. By getting them something that they need, you demonstrate how well you know them. And adding their initials gives a personal touch, without going over the top.

14. Box of Chocolate Soap

Perfect for: Chocolate Lovers

We said there wouldn’t be any actual chocolate on this list. But we never said anything about chocolate soap! While they aren’t edible, these all-natural soaps give your loved one a new way to experience a Valentine’s Day classic. (You can also get a box of flower soaps, too, if you want really want to stick to “traditional” V-day gifts!)


Your flower alternatives don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. They just need to show your partner that you appreciate them. You can do this by getting something they’ll really like, sharing something that’s important to you, or gifting something you can do together.

Do you and your partner celebrate Valentine’s Day? What about you and your friends?

14 non-flower options for valentines day