I know what you’re thinking. Gift guide? Valentine’s day is long gone and Hanukkah and Christmas are still months away—why a gift guide? Because the best kind of gift you can get your partner—the most thoughtful and sincere—is the one purchased for no reason. Well, there is a reason: you love them, they’re special, they’re appreciated, and you want them to know it. These gifts aren’t purchased for a holiday. They aren’t purchased because you messed up and want to make up for it. They are purchased just because! Stereotype alert: While I am sure men like random tokens of affections, women freakin’ love them. Boys, if you get your girl presents for no reason, she will brag to all of her friends about you. They don’t need to be expensive (handmade gifts are the best!), they just need to say “I thought of you.”
Whether you’re a vegan yourself, or an omnivore trying to faux-butter up your vegan sweetie, here are a few gift ideas I brainstormed with fellow iEG writer and friend, Andrew Johnson, aka the Vegan Giant. Always good to have a man’s input.
One thing I want to point out as a general gift buying technique is to analyze Needs vs. Wants. While your girlfriend may need a new shower curtain, that probably isn’t the most romantic gift ever. While it is always nice to get a gift that is needed (I really need some new running socks…), something that is coveted usually makes for a better swoon (I really like handbags).
Here are a few suggestions:
A CSA share. This is really great in the summer and fall. Look up your local CSA and buy a share for your sweetie so they can have fresh veggies all season long. Then, you can have weekly cooking dates as you think up things to make with your garden loot!
A cookbook. Of course, only if they like to cook. And if you like to cook—or even if you don’t but want to be super adorable by trying—put a note inside that says you will cook them any recipe they choose. In your underwear. Or, if you’re a kitchen whiz, Andrew suggests making them a cookbook with your own recipes! How thoughtful.
Vegan deal swag. Keeping a regular eye on some vegan deal sites will help give you inspiration for things to get your little lettuce muncher, and at a reasonable price, too. Check out VeganCuts!
A new kitchen toy. If your vegan likes to cook—and most of us do—consider getting them a swanky kitchen toy. This will provide hours of kitchen joy for them. One thing I really want is a Vitamix…I have been wanting one for years but it has a hefty price tag. Really I just wrote this entire article so I could send it to my boyfriend to let him know how much I want a Vitamix. (GIVE ME A VITAMIX.) Kidding! Ish.
A new bedroom toy. This is really a gift for you, too. But if your partner likes toys in the bedroom, consider getting them something new and then spend an evening playing with it. Or, to make sure it’s something they’re into, tell them you want to pick a toy out together and head to a sex toy shop…I prefer non-skeevy shops…I love NYC’s Babeland stores.
A love letter- This is such an awesome token of affection, and it only costs the price of a stamp! Snail mail love letters are a long forgotten art. It’s such a treat to get a hand written letter and unlike a quick text, you have to plan out what you’re going to say, and they can be kept and reread. (And then burned when you break up.) I’m a big fan of the snail mail love letter.
Pet “Adoption.” This little ruby is from Andrew. What a sweet guy. (He’s single, ladies.) “Adopt” an animal through Farm Sanctuary or another animal welfare organization in your partner’s name. The money you donate saves an animal!
While on the topic of adoption, let me tell you what is NOT a great surprise gift—adopting an actual animal. An ex sprung this on me once, and as crazy as I am about animals, he randomly got me a kitten when I was in college and was living off beer and bananas I stole from the dining hall. I could barely take care of myself. Of course I fell in love with him. The kitten, not the boyfriend. He was such a great cat (I named him Hefner, as he lived in a house with 6 girls…) but I ended up having to give him up for adoption two years later because I couldn’t keep him in student housing and couldn’t afford to move off campus. I found him a good home, but I cried for a solid two months. Before you actually adopt an animal as a gift, make sure it is wanted and can be cared for!
Okay, tell me your awesome no reason gift suggestions!
The Lusty Vegan is a lifestyle and sex column focusing on living and loving as a twenty-something year old vegan. More rants from Zoe Eisenberg can be found at www.sexytofu.com. Follow her on Twitter @Sexytofublog