“It can be fun to think outside the box.” — Courtney Thomas, The Picket Fence
One of the most heavily gifted holidays is Valentine’s Day. In fact, much of the fun is the anticipation. In preparation for Cupid’s Day, a few local style aficionados offer up ideas to sweeten the celebration.
For those deserving some pampering, create a spa experience at home with NW Rainforest Body Cream, advises Isabel Chiotti of Sonoran Rose in Potomac.
“Soaps and candles also make great gifts,” she said.
“It can also be fun to think outside the box,” said Courtney Thomas of The Picket Fence in Burke. “Surprise your Valentine with a gift certificate for a spa day or a shopping spree at her favorite store. Put together a basket of a few of her favorite things.”
Among the things that Thomas suggests are Moon Melt Lotion Bars by Moon Valley Organics. Decadent and indulgent, these scented moisturizers combine herbs and beeswax to help fight dry skin, she says.
For the romantics, Susan Nelson and Todd Martz of Home on Cameron in Alexandria suggest a bouquet of felt flowers in assorted colors, handmade in Nepal. These eye-catching, fair trade buds offer bursts of color and benefit women artisans who are heads of households.
For the bedhead, Amanda Mertins of Patina Polished Living in Old Town Alexandria recommends silk charmeuse pillowcases by Branche. “These wonderful pillowcases help preserve one's hairdo and help to keep away wrinkles,” she said.
For the stylish, a fur neck warmer is a cozy suggestion that Mertins offers. And for the traditionalists, “Flowers are always welcome and, of course, the color red being very popular as it conveys deep emotion,” she said. “Don't be afraid to give varieties other than roses.”
For the nostalgic, Kevin Sweitzer of Thos. Moser, Handmade American Furniture, believes that an heirloom quality beacon box to hold keepsakes would be ideal. “[It’s] meant to be passed down from generation to generation,” he said. “A really nice and memorable Valentine’s gift.”
For the entertainers, Nelson and Martz suggest all natural, hand blown glass candles, while Mertins says bar accessories work as gifts for mixologists.
For those with a sweet tooth, Chiotti recommends hot cocoa by the Cocoa Company, brown sugar toffee by Gearharts Fine Chocolates or caramels by Big Picture Farm.
For almost everyone, Suzie Clayton of Dalton Brody suggests picture frames. “From wood to Lucite to silver, there’s something for everyone,” she said. “It’s more about finding the right thing for the right person.”
“Some of the most meaningful gifts are those which are handmade including cards and a home-cooked romantic dinner,” added Mertins. “Don't forget the bubbly and always lots and lots of chocolate.”