Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. How are you going to celebrate it? Over the years I’ve heard complaints from friends and family on how commercial the holiday has become. From elevated prices, the pop-up Valentine stops for the harried husbands and boyfriends needing a last minute gift, and to the crowded restaurants, Valentine’s Day for some seems to have become less than what it is meant to be-an opportunity to share with the ones you love how much you care for them.
However, who said Valentine’s Day is supposed to be this way? With origins of the Feast of St. Valentine, the holiday has roots in celebrating martyrs who sacrificed for the sake of the love of others. It wasn’t necessarily only meant to be a day for romantic love. It was meant to celebrate the people you care for. This included simple gestures such as flowers, confections, and letters. Today, a simple walk through the stores in January and early February can remind you that these “simple” gestures aren’t so simple anymore.
So if you are looking for alternate ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the ones you love in lieu of a $50 bouquet of roses, a $25 box of chocolates, and greeting cards with mass produced messages, here are some ideas. Whether you are single, dating, married, or have a family, hopefully you can find some of these as enjoyable options to share some “love” with the individuals in your lives that mean something to you!
Cook a meal together and break bread. Yes, dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day can become near to impossible to get, needless to say expensive. Get your loved ones together and make something to eat together. Get everyone to participate and help. For extended friends and family, have a potluck. For your immediate circle, cook anything that is a favorite meal. It doesn’t have to be anything exotic or expensive (no need for lobster or filet mignon). Prepare something within your budget and works with what is convenient for you. keep it simple!
Set the mood for spending time together. Make your celebration together a little different. No nee to buy balloons and heart decor. Light a candle. Eat outside. Picnic in your backyard. Break out that table cloth you have stored away. Even the slightest change in the setting can make everyone feel special!
Establish a New Tradition Called Communication. Maybe you and your loved ones are already good at this, but take a moment to either write or say what you love about each person. This can even be a reflection of a favorite memory you have with them from the past year.
Hand make cards and treasures out of things you can find in your house. This doesn’t have to be anything majorly crafty or elaborate like a knit scarf or an acrylic painting (However, if you are an artisan…that is pretty cool!). Look in your house for any kind of possible materials. This can be gift wrapping tissue paper, wrapping paper, construction paper, recycled boxes and packaging, crayons, duct tape, markers, old fabric. You are only limited by your imagination!
Spend quiet time together free of distractions. Carve out time to spend together that is unplugged from mobile devices, televisions, movies, and anything else that may pull someone’s attention away from interacting and engaging. Take a walk together. Go for a bike ride. Sit together by a warm fire. Have cuddle time. Your whole Valentine’s Day celebration doesn’t have to always be fool of hoopla. Quiet moments are sometimes the most personal and intimate!
Offer to do something nice for each other in lieu of expensive gifts, flowers, etc. We all lead such busy lives. Who wouldn’t appreciate a good back rub, laundry done and folded, their car vacuumed, a nice cup of hot tea (or cocktail) offered to them when they get home, or even the promise of a few hours of unencumbered time. Gestures can be free. Don’t be lazy folks. A loved one’s attention to removing something off of another’s plate speaks volumes!
Dance together. I love to dance. Some of you may not. However, this is a great opportunity to put in that old mix tape of your dating days or finally listen to your loved ones favorite playlist. Take a moment to slow dance together. Why wait for the next wedding (which may be few and far between) to sway and hold hands? Slow dancing not an option? Pump up that favorite CD/playlist and have a dance party. Just. Get. Moving.
Hug each other. Hugging is good. It feels good. Enough said.
How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? Please share your own ideas! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend of love and caring!