Two days ago, I finally finished putting my holiday decorations in a Rubbermaid bin and, just yesterday, I bought another package of 90 percent-off ornaments, so yeah, it felt jarring to see Valentine's Day cards and candy in the aisles at Target in early January!
Now we're just 10 days out, though, so if you're in a relationship or are actively crushing on someone (hello, Idris Elba!), it's time to start thinking about how you might want to celebrate. Because no one wants to be the reason why the BP station keeps a stack of sad-looking cards by its cash register.
I'm one of those people who refuses to turn Valentine's Day into a high-dollar holiday. To me, it's more fun and more meaningful if you spend time instead of money; instead of an overpriced dinner reservation at, like, the last available table at 3:45 p.m., I'd rather cook dinner with my sweetheart. For cute but affordable gifts, well, I'm a big fan of the Bullseye's Playground at the front of Target. (No, no one except Target has ever called it Bullseye's Playground. It'll forever be the Dollar Spot to me and the rest of the world.)
I pushed my cart through that section the other day and found tons of bins filled with pink and red products — most of which cost less than a fiver. Whether you're in a new relationship or an established one that doesn't require a big price tag to say "I sort of like your face," this is a solid starting place for Valentine's gifts. It's also got tons of inexpensive presents for your favorite friend.
I loved the heart-shaped melamine plates that said "You have a pizza my heart" and the heart-shaped "LOVE" and "XOXO" bowls (maybe I'm just in love with eating). There were also some cute fuzzy socks, some mood-setting, food-scented candles, and a "BE MY GALENTINE" banner that would provide the perfect warm welcome for the gal you're crazy about.
Although the assortment will vary by store, I do love the idea of giving my special someone (Idris, stop reading here if you want to be surprised!) one of these Valentine-themed "stocking-stuffers," along with a card and a framed picture of the two of us. If you get to Target in the next couple of days, you'll probably find a few cute things for your own loved ones. Also, they might pay you to take that last box of ornaments, too.