Valentine’s Gifts: Are You Thinking Outside the Heart-Shaped Box?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’d all LUV our gifts to brim with creativity, heartwarming inspiration and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Too often, however, failing to think outside the heart-shaped box, we end up giving and receiving a certain sameold-same-old.

But this season, sparkling gift ideas abound — guaranteed to set even the most weary hearts aflutter.

Instead of the tired old Whitman’s Sampler purchased at the last minute from CVS, why not surprise your love-crush with La Madeline au Truffe, recognized by Forbes as the world’s most expensive chocolate truffle? From Danish chef Fritz Knipschildt, the chocolate sensation starts with a rare French Périgord mushroom surrounded by a “rich decadent ganache,” then “enrobed in Vairhona dark chocolate” and sprinkled with a “fine cocoa powder.” “It all came about because I adore both chocolate and fungus truffles,” Knipschildt reflected. At $2,600 per delight, each truffle is presented in a gold-painted box emblazoned tastefully with a Guinness World Records insignia and tied with a ribbon.

How about the perfect Valentine’s gift for school or office? Made of hand-forged Damascus steel, the Schimmel Pen may seem a bit upscale for the persnickety purchaser — retailing at $50,000 per pen. However, each pen comes with a gold nib, a “nice gift box,” a certificate of authenticity and free shipping. Remarkably, Chad Schimmel, the pen’s creator, guarantees that the product will come “personally delivered by the Maker [to] most parts of the world.” Boldly, he even declares that delivery will also “include an opportunity for dinner and dancing with the maker at his discretion.”

Or is the target of your affections more down to earth? If so, this Anatomically Correct Heart-Shaped Box might be just the thing. “For the pragmatist, the doctor, the person who thinks Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a greeting card holiday,” why not present them with this delightfully romantic keepsake box “modeled and printed from an MRI scan of a real human heart”? Cost: $39.99. Comes in “Blood Red.”

If you’re looking for more affordable cadeaux romantiques, you might try these artisanal selections. How about a Valentine’s gift for the new parent to help “express [their] baby’s sweet and funny personality”? Priced just right at $15.99, the I Love Plastic Surgery Cotton Baby Bib will help keep Baby clean in case of “spit up,” “spilled formula” or “strained peas,” while expressing love for the latest reconstructive surgical practices. Or, for $28, the handmade Winky Kissy Emoji Toilet Paper Cozy will convey your sweet Valentine wishes to your intended, most likely a few times per day!

In the age of Marie Kondo, however, such gewgaws might not spark joy. Something more precious and easily stored might be the way to go. Have you thought of a NanoSculpture, “so tiny it can stand on a human hair,” from London-based artist Jonty Hurwitz? Made of microscopic polymer with the distinction of being the “smallest sculpture ever made,” this tiny nude female form called “Trust” can only be viewed through a scanning electron microscope — so no need to blush when unveiled! One of Hurwitz’s sculptures of Cupid and Psyche was photographed on the forehead of an ant. As of press time, Hurwitz has not provided Valentine’s Day pricing.

These days, lovers are all gaga about “sustainability” — not only in their relationships, but in their wardrobe selections. From the London Sock Company, Edible Socks might be on fleek for what you seek. “Because we’re using fruit fibres, they’re 100% edible,” the company boasts on its website. “These socks can be worn with your favourite suit, whilst smelling like your favourite fruit, then when [you’re] done, you take them off and enjoy the remarkably fruity flavour as the fruit fibres melt in your mouth.” Prices start at $18 per pair. Perhaps a choice aperitif by a crackling fire to accompany the scrumptious hose?

If the object of your affection is not drawn to edible socks, maybe a snazzy modern ride will win them over. Why not present a little trinket from Cadillac’s luxury car division? Recently premiered at the vaunted Consumer Electronics Show, the Cadillac eVTOL Air Taxi provides vertical take-off and landing as well as full aerial mobility. To facilitate your furtive trysts, this four-rotor personal aircraft will be able to travel — not only off-road, but in the sky — up to 56 mph. Cadillac has not yet developed a working prototype, nor set a price. Presumably, however, the air-drone comes with the required 90-kWh battery needed to power the craft. Remember to keep it charged — just like your love life!

Speaking of flying, maybe your romantic crush will fall for an “adorable gliding creature” that’s “fun to own” and loves to “climb and glide”? Then, why not give the gift of a Flying Squirrel? Such creatures are known to be “highly active” but “have fun personalities.” Be cautious, however, with kids around, and remember that flying squirrels are “nocturnal and require a lot of space.” Price per Flying Squirrel: $125. (Permits required in 15 states, though in Utah only for “northern flying squirrels.”)

Perhaps your crush is more into beagles than flying squirrels. If so, sweep them off their feet with a trip to Dog Bark Park Inn, USA, in Cottonwood, Idaho. This wondrous hotel stands 10 meters high and five meters wide and is shaped like “an enormous beagle” named Sweet Willy. According to the hotel’s website, visitors can “sleep inside him” and may luxuriate in the “double room in his stomach and a loft room in his muzzle.” The site serves as a “wacky conception” by Sweet Willy’s “chainsaw artist owners,” Dennis and Frances. A sign on the hotel’s site reads that Sweet Willy is a “noble and absurd undertaking.” Rates are $158 per night for double occupancy, including breakfast.

And, pray tell, what if your love is ferret-owning? If so, the Ferret Patterned Hammock would make a sweet offering indeed. Handmade and designed to provide ferrets with a ferret-themed place to sleep — and (literally) hang-out — these cozy and fleece-lined nests just might be irresistible. Price: $10. Caution: Musky scents can be intoxicating.

Perhaps one wishes to hone the gentle art of seduction through a crack at crazy cosplay? Toward this end, could any token of affection possibly top the Bovine Long Horn Skull Shaman Minotaur WGT Costume Voodoo Priest Headdress Witch Doctor Headpiece available on Etsy? The headdress’s creator, Jezebel’s Fascination, conjures the following ludicrous spectre: “Skull of the mythical half-bull/half-man almost comes to life once resting on your head.” This “monstrous headpiece is the perfect brooding finishing touch to your hellish costume while devouring human sacrifices!” Price on the Installment Plan: Four “easy payments” of $47.52 per month. Just keep those payments hush-hush!

Cupid’s arrow has often hit its mark owing to the seductions of the stringed instrument — from the ancient lyre to the acid-rock guitar. But, what if your beloved only twangs annoyingly? In this case, try the gift of hypnosis. This “Play Better Guitar, Self-Hypnosis CD” offers to lull the struggling guitar neophyte into a “relaxed state where the hypnotic suggestions can take effect on [the] subconscious mind” to make it easier to “get into the zone.” Caution: The CD must not be used “while driving” or “operating machinery” or in case of “epilepsy, schizophrenia or a heart condition.” Aspiring Guitar Gods are also advised to “consult a physician before use.” Price: $15.69.

Deep down, we all know that, no matter how hard we try, we are not the perfect bearers of our special love messages. Others can certainly do a better job. Fortunately, we can outsource once-popular celebrities to convey our Valentine’s missives on our behalf, using the star-studded new website, Cameo. If you search carefully on the site, you’d be surprised how affordable such video Valentines can be. For only $50, Nadia Comăneci — the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 in Olympic competition and years later be fired by Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice” — will make a brief video recording for the object of your lust. Or, for only $60, you might choose Butch Patrick, the actor who played Eddie Munster on the 1960s hit show “The Munsters,” to create a cameo for your Valentine’s sweetheart. Beware, however, Mr. Patrick no longer looks like the little werewolf boy from the show, but just like the 67-year old actor he currently plays on Cameo.

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