I’m famous for last minute everything. From law school applications to preparation of dinners to gift buying or making, I’ve never been the type to have everything done weeks or even days ahead of time.
Some might call me a procrastinator. I prefer to think of myself as one of the “last minute people.” We’re a proud breed, even though some of us occasionally try to reform. Still, dashing around today, I’ll acknowledge that it can get dicey as a holiday approaches and we’re nowhere near ready.
In the spirit of comradeship with my fellow last minute Valentine’s Day gift givers, here are five food-related gift ideas. These do not involve a lavish display of financial prowess or wowing someone with the latest, greatest anything. Call me hokey, but if the gift reflects a true understanding of what brings a smile to your Valentine’s face, then you’ve got a winner.
1. Special chocolate bars
When I was young, the Fanny Farmer or Stover chocolate variety boxes were all the rage. These days, there are mind-boggling arrays of artisan chocolates everywhere you look. Still, there is nothing like choosing among chocolates to bring a chocoholic close to Nirvana. You can do a handpicked variety of bars and wrapped with a beautiful ribbon for under $20, providing snacking pleasure for many afternoons or evenings to come.
2. Tea/coffee time kit
A cup or mug with a package of your Valentine’s favorite tea or coffee shows that you notice what he or she likes best.
3. Custom trail mix (in a package or in chocolate bark)
Dried fruit and nuts are healthy and delicious. At supermarkets and gourmet stores, trail mix is typically expensive and it may not have the exact combination of ingredients you had in mind. So make a batch on your own, filled with your true love’s favorites. Or better yet, embed the fruit and nuts in melted chocolate for a beautiful treat.
4. Fancy ingredients
Many people I know have favorite fancy ingredients that they love to use, but cannot justify buying on a regular basis. Special olive oils and vinegars, vanilla beans, and unusual cookie decorations are lovely treats for a cook or baker.
5. A handmade gift certificate
How about a one-of-a-kind gift certificate? It could be for something you buy, a dinner at a favorite restaurant or a membership to a museum, perhaps. On the other hand, an offer to something that you don’t normally do for your Valentine (cook and clean for a week’s worth of dinners when you normally split those jobs or wash his/her car for example) makes a nice gift. If you have artistic talents, the certificate can be beautiful. But even a blank card works. The idea is to transmit a creative offer with tenderness and sincerity.
Whether your gift demonstrates romantic love for a one-and-only, or whether it is for someone else you cherish, enjoy the day, your loving relationship, and each other.