The first Valentine’s Day gift my husband ever gave me was a pink turtle magnet that has “Hawaii” written on it (he was on a trip there on Valentine’s Day). Many years later, it’s still on our refrigerator and I always smile when I see it hidden underneath all of the pictures and toddler birthday party invitations. It reminds me that Valentine’s Day is not about exorbitant gifts, wild gestures, or expensive dinners. It’s about sharing with those you love that you love them whether it’s a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, or family member. I, of course, relish any baking opportunity and February 14th provides a great one, but I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. It may be due to the fact that I was usually single or most Valentine’s presents seem tacky and forced; I mean, who really needs a teddy bear holding a heart? Since our first one together after just a few months of dating, Nathan and I have settled into a nice Valentine’s Day groove with the only gift genuinely desired being a nice dinner together at home. (And Charlie, too.) With this attitude in mind, I’ve compiled a list of inexpensive, thoughtful ways to express your love on Valentine’s Day if you share the same mentality as me.
- A homemade card. Super original, I know, but I keep all of the cards Nathan’s ever made for me. His handmade cards are usually a piece of computer paper folded in half with stamps haphazardly put on it, but it truly is about the thought and effort.
- If “just a card” does not suffice, try writing a poem. I don’t mean a “My love for you runs as deep as the ocean” kind of stuff, but silly, truthful thoughts that happen to rhyme, like “Roses are red, violets are blue; You’re weird and I am too; So let’s have weird little babies; PS I’d love you even if you got rabies”. Nathan really got into my whole poem persona (I write ridiculous poems for everything) and now it’s so fun to share them each holiday. They are always silly, usually cheesy, and sometimes gooey, but 100% meaningful.
- Pink tulips.
- Making a more-than-your-average-weekday dinner.
- Baking a sweet treat. Obviously.
- A small gift, like a pair of inexpensive earrings. Last year Nathan surprised me with a pair of earrings I posted about here! Bless his heart.
- A book. I love receiving a beautiful book on design, decor, etiquette, or cooking. Nathan likes receiving books with pictures of wildlife, especially big game.
- Tickets to a sporting event or concert.
- A bottle of good whiskey or cigars (clearly this is Nathan’s idea).
Valentine’s Day traditions I try to avoid:
- Red roses. Or roses in general.
- Going out for dinner.
- Coupon books for housework, lovin’, or anything else.
- Expecting grand gestures of love or expensive jewelry (didn’t we just celebrate Christmas?).
- Stuffed animals
- Boxed chocolates
- Slinky lingerie
Regardless of how you like to celebrate your Valentine’s Day, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday that is filled with love. And, perhaps some red velvet whoopee pies, too.