Least Cliched Valentine's Day Traditions and Gifts

The Least Clichéd
V-Day Traditions
(and the Gifts We’re

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Hype is a powerful narcotic. It’s how we wind up with things like the Fyre Festival and Soylent. And there is perhaps no day that gets quite as much of it as February 14. But there is also no other day when the hype is as warranted. So in the spirit of bringing sentimentality back into the equation, we tapped six goop staffers whose V-Day traditions are as varied—and as personal—as their relationships. And better still: They’ve corralled the Valentine’s gifts ideas they’re wishing for this year. And yes, every last one lives up to the hype.

  1. Jacqueline Schulze Weitzen
  2. Jacqueline Schulze Weitzen

    director of communications

    “My birthday falls right before, so we keep Valentine’s Day low-key. My husband and I love cooking together and always plan an extra-special meal to make at home. This year, I definitely want to try a recipe from GP’s new cookbook, The Clean Plate—like the Halibut en Papillote with Lemon. Post-dinner, I know my sweet tooth will kick in, so we’ll finish with a chocolate treat.”

    Cartier, $12,400

    “I love layering rings with my wedding band, and this gorgeous three-in-one eternity band is perfection. It’s everything I envision in terms of ring goals. Even so, I’d put it on every day.”

  4. Spa Day At Rancho Valencia
    Spa Day At Rancho Valencia
    Rancho Valencia, packages starting at $280

    “We got married at Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe, California, so it goes without saying it’s close to both my and my husband’s hearts. We love going back—it’s like reliving the memories from our big day all over again. And the Mediterranean-inspired spa offers so many customized services and wellness treatments, we could stay all day long.”

  5. Native Sea Weeds by Sarah Crowner

    Sarah Crowner, Native Sea Weeds, 2017, Acrylic on canvas and raw canvas, sewn, 218.4 x 203.2 cm (86 x 80 in.)

    Native Sea Weeds
    by Sarah Crowner

    Simon Lee Gallery, price upon request

    “I’m currently fascinated by artist Sarah Crowner. The architectural shapes, bright colors, and vast size of her works—I’m particularly fond of this one right here—are transformative. I think the blank wall in our living room is made for one of her pieces (hi, sweetie!).”

  6. JOHN DERIAN plates
  7. JOHN DERIAN plates
    JOHN DERIAN plates
    John Derian, $50

    “Jordan and I have the same initials, which makes J.W. even more special. I have been eyeing these decoupaged red-lettered plates by John Derian for a while. They’re the perfect catch-alls for jewelry, odds and ends, even palo santo ashes.”

  1. Devin Pedzwater
  2. Devin Pedzwater

    creative director

    “My wife, Gina, and I are not into the typical Valentine’s Day traditions. We usually stay home on February 14 and wait a week, so we’re more likely to have a quiet, intimate experience at a spa or a great new restaurant. If all else fails, we’ll surprise each other with a simple gift exchange.”

  3. Santos de Cartier Watch
    Santos de Cartier Watch
    Cartier, $10,400

    “I want to get back to wearing watches every day instead of relying on my phone to tell me the time. This Santos model done in mixed metals—with the option to switch out the links for a leather strap—is such understated elegance. (And I’d promise Gina to always be on time for our dates if she bought me a Cartier)!”

  4. Nude Glass Decanter Set
    Nude Glass Decanter Set
    goop, $160

    “I’ve carved out a bar area in our new home, and it’s just waiting to be accessorized. I love the design of this crystal decanter and wood tray. It also comes with a pair of sleek glasses—perfect for whiskey sipping.”

  5. Felix Restaurant Los Angeles
  6. Felix Restaurant Los Angeles
    Felix Restaurant
    Felix, price upon request

    “We’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, so we’re always looking for ways to be transported back. Felix in Venice is about as authentic as it gets in Los Angeles. I’d start with a Valentine-red Negroni, followed by fried squash blossoms and handmade orecchiette with sausage and peperoncino. Bellissimo.”

  1. Stacey Lindsay
  2. Stacey Lindsay

    articles editor

    “My boyfriend, Jay, and I crave art. To be totally honest, we crave anything that makes us put down our phones for at least an hour. So every Valentine’s, we go phone-free to indulge in some amazing show, reading, play…. Last year it was Water by the Spoonful at the Mark Taper Forum in LA. This year I’m hoping we’ll head to the LA Philharmonic. But even if we spend the evening at home watching the last few episodes of Trigger Warning with Killer Mike, I’d be one happy—and present—girl.”

    Cartier, $26,700

    “Because this bracelet is so stunning yet so simple, I’d wear it with everything. Everywhere. The epitome of pure elegance.”

  4. Malfatti glasses
    Malfatti glasses
    Malfatti, $78

    “Discovering natural wines has become a hobby for me and my boyfriend. We preach about the beauty of drinking small-batch Lambrusco without added yeasts, coloring, sulfites, or any of the zillion other additives often found in conventional wines. (We’ve never had a hangover from natural wine.) To end Valentine’s this year, I’d love to drink a biodynamic carbonic Pinot Noir in one of these perfectly imperfect glasses.”

  5. The Alchemy of the Senses by Jean-Charles Boisset
    The Alchemy of the Senses
    by Jean-Charles Boisset

    JCB, $395

    “This coffee-table book is more experiential art than book. It incorporates interactive activities with mirrors, inverted text, and sensual stories—all encased in flaming-hot red velvet. And it comes with a gorgeous gold pendulum that you can use to access what author (and winemaker, tastemaker, and artist) Jean-Charles Boisset calls the five areas of the human dynamic: balance, passion, health, energy, and of course, love.”

  6. Stevie Howell silk robe
    Stevie Howell robe
    Stevie Howell, $395

    “There’s a transcendent quality to a beautiful robe. It’s a piece that can elevate a simple moment to one that’s totally luxurious. I imagine if I put on this silky stunner (which is really wearable art) for Saturday morning coffee with my boyfriend, I’d be transported from our LA patio to a pied-à-terre in Paris.”

  1. Micere Johnson
  2. Micere Johnson

    editorial assistant

    “My boyfriend and I have one rule for Valentine’s Day: Be creative. It doesn’t have to be good or complex, but we’re in a long-distance relationship, so a little effort goes a long way. Last year, I wrote him a poem, and he wrote me a (really good) song—I have it saved on my phone.”

  3. Raw Brass Fountain Pen
    Raw Brass Fountain Pen
    WMS & CO., $98

    “I don’t write anything by hand anymore, and that’s why my handwriting is slowly deteriorating. Hopefully, this beautiful brass pen can inspire me to form a new habit.”

  4. Jeni’s Pint Club
    Jeni’s Pint Club
    Jeni’s, $230

    “Chocolate is all well and good, but ice cream is my actual love language.”

  5. Berlitz Language Classes
    Berlitz Language Classes
    Berlitz, price upon request

    “My boyfriend’s a native Spanish speaker, and I’m playing
    catch-up. Berlitz offers a range of learning options from online self-study to total immersion.”

  1. Monina Gaerlan
  2. Monina Gaerlan

    VP of business development

    “My husband and I opt to stay in on Valentine’s Day. We avoid the crowds and fixed menus and have a cook-off at home instead. We’ll select one type of dish (last year was fried chicken), and we each cook a different recipe and add our own twist.”

  3. Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet
    Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet
    Cartier, $11,800

    “I’m in the market for a timeless piece of jewelry with just the right amount of bling that I can dress up or down. This dreamy yet subtle bracelet hits the nail on the head.”

  4. Kindah Khalidy Art
    Kindah Khalidy Art
    Kindah Khalidy, price upon request

    “We’re in the process of remodeling and are revamping art in our home; Kindah Khalidy’s work is at the tip-top of my list.”

  5. Helen’s Wine Club Los Angeles
    Helen’s Wine Club
    Helen’s Wine Club, starts at $45

    “I was recently introduced to Helen Johannesen’s podcast, Wine Face, and have since added different varietals to my list. Also great: her wine club, which is fast becoming a go-to gift for girlfriends.”

  1. Lexi Zhu
  2. Lexi Zhu

    staff accountant

    “My SO and I both value memorable experiences more than things. Last year on V-Day, I surprised her with concert tickets, and she took me on an impromptu road trip to San Diego. When we are being ‘lazy,’ we’ll celebrate by simply cooking dinner at home, sipping on wine, and listening to our favorite ’90s R&B, slow chill EDM, etc. Afterward, if we’re in the mood, we’ll go to a club, dance, have a few Mexican Firing Squads (my new cocktail obsession thanks to our chief technology officer, JP).”

  3. Linus Rambler
    Linus Rambler
    Linus Bike, $489

    “The perk of living on the Westside of LA is being so close to the beaches. I have always wanted this bike to cruise around on the weekend or even ride to work every day (I live about a mile away from our goop HQ). And I mean, look at this matte mustard color. So obsessed!”

  4. Box Union Membership
    Box Union Membership
    Box Union, memberships starting at $89

    “Being an accountant, I sit at the office a lot on workdays. As a result, I love staying active outside of work as much as I can. And I do love boxing classes. I get to move around, interact with others, and it’s a great combination of cardio and strength training. It’s also a fun way to sweat, relieve stress, and gain lean muscle, so you can look better naked. Am I right?”

  5. A Trip to Shanghai
    A Trip to Shanghai

    “This is on the top of my vacation wish list. It’s so special for me and my girl because we bonded over this city when we first met. I grew up there, and she fell in love with the city when she traveled there. It’s such a vibrant place—we plan to explore it all together soon.”