Last week we offered up seven places that could help with your Valentine's Day preparations. Here are a few more ideas for activities or gift-giving, including one if it's just going to be the girls for Galentine's Day.
- Subscription boxes: A spending survey by the National Retail Federation indicates that people are celebrating all their relationships, not just romantic ones, this Valentine's Day. Cratejoy, a marketplace for subscription boxes, suggests gifts of self-care, one of the most significant trends to emerge from the pandemic.
"Self-care box sales more than doubled in 2020, and we expect that to continue," said Autumn Manning, president and COO of Cratejoy.
Their recommendation for self-care boxes is SinglesSwag, especially for Singles Awareness Day on Feb. 15.
Other trends to watch are at-home date-night experiences, for which sales on Cratejoy's platform doubled in 2020 (recommendation: Crated With Love); family and children's games, for which sales increased by more than 100% in 2020 (recommendation: Deadbolt Mystery Society); continued interest in food boxes, because comfort food is especially meaningful these days (recommendations: Jessie's Nutty Cups and He Wines, She Dines); and increased spending on pets, because pet adoptions have soared during COVID-19 (recommendations: Dapper Dog Box and WagWell).
To support local businesses, consider Taste of Chattanooga for foodies (www.tasteofchattbox.com), a greeting card subscription from Lost Art Stationery (lostartstationery.com), fresh brews from Mad Priest Coffee Roasters (madpriestcoffee.com), crystals from Almanac Supply Co. (almanacsupplyco.com), fashions from Blue Box (thebluecollection.com) and firewood from Cutting Edge Firewood (cuttingedgefirewood.com).
- Conversation starters: If you're looking for ways to connect with dates or loved ones, consider "You're Pulling My Leg" from Morning Star Games. Created by award-winning filmmaker and game creator Allen Wolf, the combination game/book builds relationships with get-to-know-you questions that range from thought-provoking to zany. The game can be played in person or remotely.
A Junior version is available for families as well. Collectively, the games have won 14 awards.
During the game, players choose a question from the cards within the book. The secret flip of the coin determines if their answer should be true or made up. When players hear a story, they vote points on whether they think the storyteller is telling the truth or pulling their leg. Players win points if they're right and lose them if they're wrong. The first player to 21 points wins.
The games are available from Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble and online retailers such as Amazon. Paperback versions are priced at about $13. Find out more at morningstargames.com.
- Heartfelt art: Ooltewah artist Jane Newman has created a calorie-free Valentine's Day treat with "Be Mine," a 36- by 36-inch acrylic on canvas painting of a box of chocolates — perfect for fans of romance, chocolates or Forrest Gump.
Newman describes it as the "perfect guilt-free indulgence for the eclectic interior lovers." It's available at Bud Floral & Home Gallery, 2206 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank. Learn more at budfloralandhome.com or janefnewman.com.
- BFFs with brushes: Plan a painting party with your best friend forever with The Chattery's BFF Painting Party: Galentine's Edition, a webinar taught by artist Amy Brauer of Nooga Studio. Galentine's Day, invented by "Parks and Recreation" character Leslie Knope to honor female friendship, is celebrated on Feb. 13. Cost is $35 for the video and supplies for one person, with the option to add supply kits (or pick up supplies on your own). You'll need to order supplies by Feb. 10 to be delivered in time for your Galentine's Day parties. Find out more at thechattery.org.