Is it Valentine's Week already? Didn't we just take down the Christmas tree. Feels like the red and pink decorations were already up in the stores before the New Year's Eve ball dropped in Times Square.
I know Valentine's Day can get really merchandise-driven. All the ads on TV are for that perfect ring, the most decadent chocolate or extravagant trip. There's got to be a way to celebrate without breaking the bank.
So what are your plans for Valentine's Day? Are you scaling back this year? I know we can show love with simple gifts from the heart. But how?
I am currently unemployed, so my Valentine's Day is going to have to be creative and inexpensive.
Some ideas I had:
Love coupons: They are inexpensive to create - you can use your own computer - and they can be intensely personal and meaningful. For example - "This coupon good for one breakfast in bed."; "This coupon good for one back rub."; "This coupon good for one night out with the guys without complaint."; "This coupon good for one car wash". You can modify the "coupons" to the type of relationship you have, the recipient, etc.
Award Certificates: You might also consider giving your loved one a certificate of achievement for being the best ______ (husband, boyfriend, family member, etc.) - You can get free do-it-yourself certificate templates at:www.123certificates.com/ Underneath the award title and the person's name, write a few sentences about why they are receiving the award...This type of personal recognition can be helpful in saying "Thank You" to a loved one - especially when we forget to say "Thank You" enough. Get a frame from your local dollar store and make it a lasting treasure - you can even decorate a plain frame.
Arts and Crafts: You could also consider making the person a present - if you are into crafts, consider making a collage, using pictures of: the things you wish you could give the person; or how they have helped your dreams come true; or the reasons why you love him/her. Or, make them some jewelry...or a cake...or a homemade card - you can use dried flowers and famous poems to say what you mean, but can't find the words to say...Consider creating a scrapbook for your hunny of all the meaningful events that you have shared...add in movie tickets, photos, or other meaningful items that represent your life together...You could carve a rose out of wood, or hearts out of scented soap...Or, like me, make your loved one some jewelry...
Meals: You could also make the person his/her favorite breakfast / lunch / dinner. Serve it in bed, or have a picnic at your favorite locale...and if it's cold out, have an indoor picnic at a special locale.
Actions: Fix him/her a romantic and relaxing hot bath - use candles, flower petals, bubble bath / bath salts / bath oils - whatever your hunny would enjoy. Or sing him/her a romantic song - even if you don't have a voice, your hunny will appreciate the effort. Or do your hunny's chores for the week; Or, pick wildflowers and give your hunny some flowers; Or write your loved one a poem or a love letter...Whatever action you choose should be whatever will make your hunny the happiest - as long as it comes from your heart!
Although Valentine's Day is a very commercial, Hallmark-created, "holiday" - if you concentrate on the spirit of the day, you can find inexpensive, personal, and deeply meaningful ways to remind your hunny of how much you love him / her.
If you have some money, and want to find a unique gift for your loved one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I make jewelry in my spare time, and my pieces are relatively inexpensive, but 100% unique - I never make two sets the same (unless for special orders). I can either send you an existing piece, or tailor-make something for your Valentine. I will find or make a piece exclusively for you or your loved one (male and female), for just about any budget!
Finally, you may wish to consider including the lonely and forgotten in your Valentine's Day plans - sometimes a simple homemade card can bring the greatest joy to those who have no one else. For example, a dear friend of mine lost her husband two years ago - and their anniversary was Valentine's Day...so, I will be making her some jewelry (my hobby), and sending her a homemade card....just so she knows I remembered a day that has dual importance for her...Just knowing that I made her Valentine's Day better is going to be the best gift I could give myself...and being happy is the best gift I can give my hunny, so it's a win-win-win for only a few hours work!