Yep, that highly controversial holiday is right around the corner. But just because the media bombards us with images of extravagant gifts and fancy dinners out doesn’t mean those are the only ways to show our love (romantic or otherwise) on Valentine’s Day. Here are ten of my ideas, most of which you still have time to do! It was a bit a of a stretch for me to come up with ten, but like any good stretches the results were worth the effort I think.
- Curl up in some blankets with your sweetie, a schmoopy movie and some popcorn. Speaking of schmoopy movies, do you have any recommendations? It’s been a while since we watched a new to us one!
- Instead of a cut flower arrangement or bouquet, give a kitchen/windowsill herb garden to “spice things up” a bit.
- Cook a meal together, maybe using a new recipe or new ingredient you haven’t tried before.
- Tuck surprise notes around that your Valentine will find throughout the day.
- Make a special dessert to share.
- Keep both of your hearts healthy by getting the blood pumping doing some new cardio activity together like renting a tandem bicycle, going for a hike, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc. There’s a bonus if you try something new because learning new things keeps our minds younger!
- Get all dolled up for dinner, even if it is dinner in. Dust off that fun dress, pull out the lipstick. All the prep can up the anticipation factor. Plus, putting in the effort that you did early in your relationship can make an otherwise normal dinner feel quite special.
- Even if you aren’t in a relationship (or even if you are) pamper yourself a bit with a pedicure or other salon service, or DIY it home. A spot of color on my toes always makes me smile, even if I only see it when I shower.
- Enlist the help of a friend and go get some pictures taken together at some of your favorite places. Aside from engagement and wedding photos, a lot of couples rarely get their pictures taken together without the whole family. Plus, you are ordered to smooch, hug and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes!
- Cliche as it is, the devil is in the details. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but amping up a little everyday detail is a nice touch. One year DH surprised me at afternoon fika with a tea that was pressed into little hearts that opened up when the hot water was added.
I have many fun Valentine memories from childhood. My mom has a real knack for making things special. I always had crazy elaborate Valentine boxes for the classroom - a “love boat” with tug boat made from milk cartons (a half gallon for the big boat and a school lunch carton for the tug boat) and a gumball machine with a fishbowl filled with real gumballs to share with the class are two standouts.
Of course with the holiday landing in February I had at least two years in elementary school where I missed the classroom party due to illness. On one of those occassions my dad (who was never into doing his own gift thing ever) decided to perk me up with a gift, but also knew that if I got something my sister would need something too even if she got to go to school and take part in her classroom party. He was at the grocery store which had relatively recently added a floral section and saw a pair of cute hedgehogs wearing some red fabric with teeny white hearts and grabbed them, not realizing they were a “couple” until he got home. When he got home mom realized that “pair” were not going to work as a gift for both of us and ended up chasing him back into town. I don’t recall what he ended up getting my sister, but I know they didn’t have another pair of hedgehogs. The poor guy just couldn’t win. While I have no clue if I still have those hedgehogs, the effort he put in has stuck with me and is a wonderful memory. It wouldn’t matter if those hedgehogs were $1 or $100. Do you have any fun Valentine memories?
Looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration? Visit Carole’s blog and follow everyone’s links to their own lists and share yours while you’re at it!