Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be for couples, it can be for friends, kids, parents, and even for your pets! You also don’t have to go crazy and spend a lot of money on those you love, get creative and have fun. Guest blogger Kati is here today to share 7 Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine’sDay…ideas everyone will love!
Valentine’s Day. Beneath its sugary exterior, it’s often a day fraught with expectations, introspection, and anxiety. Whether you’re single, newly dating someone, or in a long-term relationship, when you see Valentine’s Day getting closer in your planner, there’s a good chance you feel a bit lost. It’s no wonder some people ignore it or actively boycott it. But the holiday provides us with a moment to step back and show our appreciation for the ones we love. Sure, it’s just a random day on a calendar, but it pushes us to do things that make others feel good. And who couldn’t use a reminder to reflect on the beneficial, affirming things in our lives? So why not find a way to celebrate it in a way that resonates with you?
There are many meaningful ways to acknowledge the holiday. And before you begrudgingly get out your wallet, all of these ideas are free or low-cost.
1. PAPER VALENTINES…
Just like in grade school! Giving little cards to your coworkers, classmates, family members, or friends is a cute way to spread joy. Those with crafty leanings can make their own, and everyone else can give funny store-bought ones.
And remember, as your 1st grade teacher said, give one to everybody in the class.
2. DINNER WITH YOUR FRIENDS…
February 14, 2007: My boyfriend lived an hour away and a heavy snowfall had forced us to postpone our date. Of my four roommates, two were a couple. They had evening plans, which left three of us staring out the window at the snow. Work and school had been cancelled for a few days and we were getting stir-crazy. Despite the messy roads and high snowdrifts, we decided to venture out to a pizza restaurantabout two miles away. We stayed there for a few hours, enjoying the food and each other’s company. This impromptu celebration is one of my warmest V-Day memories, because it was just about appreciating friendship and life’s simple pleasures.
You can do this regardless of everyone’s relationship status. Sure, some couples may already have plans, but others will be glad for a low-key evening together. And if one of yourfriends is feeling down, this may cheer them right up.
3. A PICNIC DINNER…
What’s cuter than a couple sharing a meal on a blanket in the park? This date is cozy and romantic, and it needn’t be expensive. Even if February is cold where you live, see if your town has a nice indoor venue. Some museums have open areas and allow food in certain parts of the building- or perhaps there’s a sunny spot in your living room?
The extra-romantic might tow a guitar or poetry bookalongside the picnic basket.
4. THE HOMEMADE MEAL…
Instead of a movable feast, eat at home. A candlelit dinner at home is undeniably romantic. Cooking a full meal can intimidate some people, but a basic salad, pasta dish, andbread basket is a classic date staple, and for good reason. It’s rich, filling, and reminiscent of countless romantic moviemoments. Even Tramp knew to take Lady out for spaghetti. And for the cook, it’s inexpensive and relatively simple.
A friend of mine once made heart-shaped ravioli for his wife- and while you don’t have to go that far to impress, it’s a fun idea. Finish up with a rich dessert or strawberries and champagne. Hide a present at the bottom of the bread basket or under the seat. Put on some music to set the mood, and relax once you put the food on the table. Buon appetito!
5. THE HEARTFELT LETTER…
If you’re tired of seeing pink and red everywhere, but still want to acknowledge someone special in your life, simply tell them in a letter. Whether it’s to a friend, a relative, or a romantic partner, it’s a heartfelt message they can read again anytime. It shows thought and dedication, and it’s an instant keepsake.
You don’t have to be a poet, or even good at spelling- the sincerity of your words speaks for itself. Just tell them what they mean to you, what they bring to your life, and what you admire about them. Mention favorite shared memories or inside jokes. (Just be careful if you compose a letter to a pal- there’s always that friend who might misread your intentions!)
The internet is your friend if you get stuck. Not only are there writing guides, but you can simply search for quotes or song lyrics that remind you of the recipient, and start the letter with those words. Most people won’t be expecting a personal letter, which makes it all the better.
6. RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE…
To commemorate your relationship, pay homage to your first date. It doesn’t have to be an exact repeat- no need to attend a high school basketball game or fly back across the country- but a creative tribute shows how you value your memories of your time spent together. Eat the same meal or listen to the same band you saw that night. Send them an email just like the one you sent to ask them out. Re-watch the first movie you saw together. Share a hot chocolate at the site of your first kiss (and feel free to recreate that moment.)
7. WANDER AROUND TOWN…
If you’ve got a little extra fuel in your car, or a bicycle built for two, a ride around town (or out in the country) gives you time to relax and see new things together. There’s a reason people think fondly on road trips with friends: you see interesting sights and share unique moments. The conversation is more spontaneous. Interacting with new environments activates different parts of your brain, engages your senses, and creates vivid memories. And if the weather agrees, you can do this on foot. My boyfriend and I got to know each other during long evening walks through his historic neighborhood, and there’s a good chance we’ll do so again on Valentine’s Day.