fairy lights in hand
When in doubt, deploy the fairy lights. Minh Ngọc via Unsplash

It happens to best of us. Holidays sneak up and we panic about what to give our loved ones. The less time we have, the more indecisive we become. Suddenly we are unable to consider any gift that’s not a novelty Pez dispenser.

If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or Palentine’s Day—that’s a thing, right?—here’s our foolproof guide that’ll show anyone you care. For some more options, check out PopSci’s 2017 and 2018 gift guides. I stand firmly beside my choices.

For someone you’re just getting to know

Tea Pigs Tea Pigs

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A friend recently introduced me to a company called TeaPigs, which boasts punchy takes on classic flavors, like liquorice and mint and honeybush and rooibos. TeaPigs is responsible for some of my favorite cups to date. Choose between a variety of gift sets or single teas.

Plus: a one-touch tea maker

Breville Amazon

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If they’ve already got cabinets full of tea, consider a beautiful tea maker like this one from Breville. Notice I said tea maker, not hot water heater. True tea devotees—or just people that care enough to look it up—know that specific tea requires varying brewing temperatures and times. This machine takes some of the guesswork out of the process, and gives you the freedom to add custom settings. It keeps your tea warm for up to an hour, lets you schedule a time for it to start automatically in the morning, and—my favorite part—automatically dips tea when it’s brewing and then lifts the basket up once it’s done. Presets on the face allow you to choose between green, herbal, black, oolong, white, and custom. And, yes, you could also just boil hot water with this thing. $218.

For people who like to stay in

Ravensburger Amazon

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I found this during my search for the best puzzles for National Puzzle Day a few weeks back. The 1,000-piece jigsaw from Ravensburger is a sweet way to spend an evening. Consider it a test to see if all your pieces click together. A couple that puzzles together, stays together. $20.

For people that like to be cozy (everyone)

Rumpl Rumpl

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Snuggle up over the holiday with a Rumpl Sherpa Puffy blanket. I’m sitting with mine around me to get in the mood. The blanket has an attached buckle—that is sometimes annoying when you’re laying on it—but absolutely worth it because this blanket is easy to roll up, impossible to lose, and the buckle fits inside a hidden zippered pocket. The blanket comes in two sizes—50 and a 54 inches. You can get them on Amazon, but I’d recommend checking out their website, where you can see the brand’s cooler patterns and collaborations with artists.

For a romantic (or friendly) getaway

IceMule Amazon

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OK, yes, you probably won’t be using this in February (unless you live in the tropics or Australia or whatever), but this IceMule makes a great gift regardless. The insulated cooler backpack comes in three sizes—10, 15, and 20-liter—is collapsible, and can keep things cold for over 24 hours. Pair it with a promise of a champagne picnic. $60.

For people that are on their feet all day

Mynt Amazon

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This Mynt foot massager has 22 massage heads that target pressure points on your feet, rollers on the bottom of the feet, and uses air pressure to aid in blood flow and alleviate aches. The device is also heated. Nothing more luxurious and romantic than a foot rub. $180.

To set the mood

LED lights. Amazon

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Gifts don’t need to be something they take home. It could be the effort you put in to make a romantic evening. Make a delicious dinner and get 33 feet of warm, dimmable, and remote-controlled LED lights for $8. With the remote, you can opt into one of 24 brightness levels and 10 lighting modes. They come on a copper wire and are weather-resistant. $8.

For your dog

A heart-shaped rope toy. Amazon

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I know you love your dog all year round, but they get awful jealous when everyone else in the room is getting attention. Try this heart shaped rope toy to divert those longing puppy eyes while you do your thing. $16.

For relaxation and stimulus

Essential oils Amazon

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How about a kit of essential oils to help soothe your spirits and set the mood? This variety box has 14 oils, so you can mix and match to find the perfect scent. Pair it with a simple diffuser and you are set. $60.

For photographers and selfie artists

Nixplay Seed Wave. Nix

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A digital photo frame says “I like you, I like our memories, and want to continue making more.” The 13-inch Nixplay Seed Wave frame boasts 1920 x 1080 resolution, motion sensors, and a power cord that acts as a frame stand. This new model features two 5-watt speakers that let you stream musical accompaniment via Bluetooth. Upload curated photo playlists or connect your social media accounts. The Seed Wave comes with 10GB of free cloud storage and 8GB of built-in storage. $250.

For the memory-maker

Instax Amazon

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A few months ago, your boo mentioned wanting an instant film camera. Show them you were listening. $91.

For travelers

Scratch-off map. Amazon

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For the couples that love to travel, a scratch-off map is a perfect way to remember where you’ve been and where you still need to go. The 33 x 23-inch map is like a giant scratch lottery ticket. $30.


For the people that can’t stand being apart

Bond Touch

I can’t tell if this is creepy or sweet. The Bond Touch is designed for people in long-distance relationships, or people that just can’t stand being away from each other for more than a few hours. You receive two bracelets. When you touch the face of one, the person wearing the second bracelet feels your touch. It comes with two TPU bracelet bands, two USB chargers, and two touch modules. It also lights up, so you can choose your favorite colors via the smartphone app when you’re setting it up. It’s $98.

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