Some say Valentine's Day is a holiday made up by greeting card companies to profit on love (and maybe it is). But, show up at your S.O.'s front door without a gift and you'll almost certainly be turned away.
Gift giving on Cupid's Day can be an exciting, albeit daunting, adventure. Whether basking in the lust and obsession of a newfound relationship or working toward the long haul, there is an appropriate level of gifting at each big milestone (i.e.: maybe skip over skywriting “I love you!” in the first weeks of dating).
PACIFIC has rounded up a few swoon-worthy gifts for any stage of a relationship.
Under 2 months
Everything is bright sunshine and daisies at this level of the relationship. No ugly skeletons, no discernible dealbreakers, just full-throttle passion, butterflies and 24/7 obsession.
Grab a Valentine’s Day Pizza Kit from Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill and turn up the heat with your new sweetheart. The make-at-home kits are stocked with everything necessary to create a heart-shaped pizza, including dough, sauce, cheese and pepperoni if requested, along with easy instructions. Crust varieties include regular, whole wheat or gluten-free. Bonus: Post culinary creations on Instagram or Facebook with #iheartsammys, and Sammy’s will pick a winner for a $100 gift card.
Multiple locations, sammyspizza.com
If sweet treats are more appetizing, nab a box of Mini Churro Cannolis from Puesto for a low-key but thoughtful gift. Each Puesto pink box will have two churro cannoli flavors, including Chocolate Chip and Crema with Cajeta, Chocolate Almond Latte with Spiced Mocha Sauce and Strawberry Guava with Sweet Pistachio Sauce. Be sure to pre-order for pickup on Valentine’s Day only.
Multiple locations, eatpuesto.com
Under 6 months
Love and lust should still be going strong at this point in the relationship. Things may be starting to get serious, but are likely still out of engagement or lifelong commitment status.
Keep love sparked with the sensual gift of Italian cooking. This pasta-making class at Cucina Sorella, led by chef de cuisine Daniel Wolinsky, teaches techniques of homemade pasta and includes lunch and a glass of wine. Mold and roll that pasta like Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze work clay in Ghost, all while sharing sidelong glances at your love muffin.
4055 Adams Ave., Kensington, 619.281.4014, cucinasorella.com
Definitely a major milestone in any relationship, this is when things get serious, and more long-term gifts become appropriate (along with the upswing in sticker price).
Fairen Del, the multi-level fashion and travel boutique at Flower Hill in Del Mar has a variety of love-inspired eye candy. For V-Day, the shop is offering small, medium and large pouches emblazoned with love phrases including “All for Love” and “Love you to the Moon and Back.” For a memorable and environmentally impactful gift, pick one of the wrap bracelet designs with mauve freshwater pearls, brass beads and rose quartz on a silk hand-knotted cord.
2690 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, 858.259.1120, fairendel.com
2 years and beyond
By the time a relationship reaches this impressive milestone, marriage (and potentially kids) are clearly on the table, if you aren’t there already. While much of the love and excitement still remains, as you’ve settled in for the long haul, life may have started getting in the way of quality time together. So, plan some time for just the two of you to help rekindle the flames of passion.
Book the day or evening with your bae at the newly remodeled and impressively luxurious Westfield UTC. Go ice skating at the rink, lounge in the mall-wide comfy seating, sit out by the fire pits and listen to live music at Plaza Unplugged in the evening, grab a coffee and ice cream, and dine at one of the stellar restaurant choices. Go upscale with Larsen’s Steakhouse, Bazille, or True Food Kitchen, or keep it casual with Napizza, Eureka!, or Shake Shack. Present your honey with a basket full of treats and gift cards from his or her favorite stores and let them run wild and free. Guaranteed to rank high on the thoughtfulness and quality-time meter, it will be a day you won’t forget in your journey together.
4545 La Jolla Village Dr., University Town Center, 858.546.8858, westfield.com/utc