I wouldn’t consider myself the Scrooge of this “Hallmark holiday,” but I do think it’s a tad bit overrated. Valentines Day – the modern definition, anyway – is supposed to represent a holiday during which we shower our loved one with affection and romance. But what’s so romantic about a day that makes one feel obligated to shower their significant other with pricey items? The pushy advertising of chocolate-filled heart boxes, floral delivery, and sparkly stones can make us all feel a little dreadful of February 14th.
And while I think that this red-and-pink-bedazzled holiday puts too much materialistic pressure on a couple, I also believe it is great to have (at least) a single day out of the year where you go really out of the box to do something special for your loved one. Showing an out of the ordinary gesture of affection doesn’t have to mean spending a paycheck on gifts or facing the busy restaurant crowds. Sharing a special day with someone should be accessible for all types of people; whether you’re trying to save on cash or can’t go out because you’ve got kids at home… Or if you simply don’t want to participate in V-Day cliches.. Keep reading on to take the stress out of this Valentine’s Day!
P.S. I’ve put in clickable links to some of my favorite items from Target to make planning your special night easy-peasy 🙂
- Consider a dinner-for-two at your own table. Instead of dealing with getting reservations, have a nice meal at home instead. This year, I’m making a homemade Alfredo sauce with linguine pasta and asparagus and lobster tails for sides. We’re also laying out appetizers like dips, cheese and salami, and bruschetta on the table to help give give a different ambiance to the evening. And since we have a little toddler, we are saving the dessert (chocolate-dipped strawberries, champagne, and….) for after bed time 😉 Tip: look through your grocery ads for deals on splurge-worthy items like steak, lobster, crab legs, wine, champs, etc. There’s often a lot of steals on this stuff for V-Day! And if cooking isn’t your thing, order takeout!
- Forget the flowers and chocolate, think sentimentality. I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting at least one of the two listed, but I won’t complain! However, to beat the cliches, get your S.O. something they really love that won’t get wilted. It could be their favorite candy bar (no, it doesn’t have to be heart-shaped) or a bottle of their preferred adult beverage. For mine, its a bag of good ol’ beef jerkey. Your partner will love your well thought-out and non-generic gesture.
- Get a gift that both of you can enjoy together. Sure, you could go down the naughty route of this one, but I’ll give the G-rated version. Find a common interest that you and your partner share, and get a gift that you will both love. Are you both outdoorsy? Buy a map of the hiking trails and check one off the list. Competitive? Get a board game and have game night. Book worms? Grab a book (or a few) that you’ll both love talking about. Because my man and I are getting married soon and we both love science, I got the newest edition of TIME magazine, The Science of Marriage, from Target.
- Put a spin on movie night in. Having a move night for Valentine’s Day can easily feel like just another Netflix binge session. But with a little creativity, it can be fun, romantic and memorable. Rearrange the furniture so you can set up lots of pillows and blankets on the floor. Set up bowls of your favorite movie theater snacks and substitute the lights for lots of candles. If the kids will be joining you, set up their own sections of the living room with some personal DIY sheet forts (or kids’ teepees, like this one here); it will help give the feeling of a little more privacy for mom and dad.
Some people might want a break from the traditional wine and dine with flowers and chocolate, or others may not be able to afford all the gifts. And yet some still might just not be able to get a sitter for the night to get some time away from the kids. Whatever your reason is, I hope these ideas help you have the best Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to remember the real reason you’re celebrating: the love you have for your partner. Please share with someone you love and comment below with your own ideas.
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