Note from 2019: This is a re-used post from last year but I loved writing it so much then that I decided to bring it back. :)
Confession: I love Valentines Day. I know it's a hokey corporate-constructed faux-holiday that is really only in existence so jewelry, flower and perfume markets can capitalize on the time period between New Years and Memorial Weekend.
Now that we got that out of our system...the reason I love Valentines Day is because I think celebrating love in all its forms is kind of fun, and kind of cute to watch when you see guys rush to their nearest jeweler or chocolate shop, and girls try to figure out what to get their boyfriends. And...CHOCOLATE. GOES. ON. SALE. I guess instead of thinking of it as Singles' Awareness Day, it's always just been a fun day to celebrate friendship, a relationship, or (when I was a teacher!) the love of little children who make us laugh. I've kept so many cards over the years that I've gotten from my little ones in classrooms!
Anyway, outside of dinner, jewelry, roses, and chocolate--there are so many fun ways to show your loved ones how much you love them. Here are some ideas. I hope you like them and if you use them, let me know how they turned out!
1. The Note Cube: Did you see my Instagram? I had an IG post about this gift I had made for someone a while ago. It's a collection of customized notes you write that are printed on beautiful cardstock paper, wrapped with a bow in a lovely little box. The Note Cube can be a collaborative effort (like if you're making one for a parent) or one where you do it on your own, and you can add pictures. They even have pre-made options if you aren't someone who can write 60 little lovenotes for someone.
2. Go out in the car, bundle up in blankets and look at the stars. I know a guy who once mentioned wanting to go on a hike to his favorite spot in California and watch the stars in his car. It stuck with me...and one of the things I miss most about living in PA is exactly that: seeing a sky full of stars. It's a romantic, free, quiet way to bond with someone you love on a cold winter night!
3. Have a picnic at home, surrounded by candles. Who says the cold weather has to keep you from enjoying a spring/summer activity? Set up in your living room...it's cheap, easy, fun and you won't feel bad if you forget the wine because you can pop right up and get it. Add candles for a sweet touch.
4. Connect with your inner supermodel. You know, sometimes being in front of a camera is kind of awkward and not everyone's cup of tea. But when it's you and someone you love, it becomes a fun way to connect and laugh, because you're posing with the person who sees past your flaws. Stage a little photoshoot with your phones in front of a fun brick wall or a place you guys love...and have fun!
5. Take a class. Does it surprise you that I would tell you to go learn something? I didn't think so. But cooking classes. Painting classes. Sewing. Writing. Building things. Anything that you both have always wanted to do, or perhaps something that neither of you ever considered. Push yourselves out of your comfort zone and do it together.
6. Write a letter. In today's world, we get so many emails from work and so many text messages that we've forgotten the sheer magic of a handwritten letter or a meaningful, long email. I know it sounds so silly--but I still have a love letter written to me when I was 19. That's 13 years ago. Some heartfelt messages still make you smile years later, and I think bringing back the art of the written word for the person you love is an amazing gift.
7. Go for a drive or a little roadtrip. There's this old saying about how guys have good conversations side-by-side. I know some of my best conversations with friends or otherwise have occurred while driving somewhere. So go for a long drive or take a road trip to something ridiculous, like the world's largest Ketchup bottle if it's nearby...and let the road guide your conversation.
8. Pottery painting...or something artistic. There's this place back home called 2000 Degrees where you can paint greenware with an assortment of glazes. They fire the pottery, and two days later you have a fully functional piece of pottery--from piggy banks to plates to coffee cups. Go together. Paint together. Laugh at each other's ability (or lack thereof) and exchange the artistic piece. You'll always look back to that Valentine's Day when you drink from that coffee cup or use that flower vase.
9. Staycation time! If you've got the means, get a hotel room in your own city. Take a tourist's perspective and find something you've always wanted to do in your city or that visitors want to and go enjoy it. It'll change your perspective.
10. Go to dinner and order for each other. You know those tests for significant others to find out how well they know you? I'd say consider this a test but really, have them order something different than you usually get...talk about what you loved. Enjoy the meal and the conversation that follows.
11. Make lists together. Over dinner in your living room or coffee at a cafe, make lists for your future--where you want to go someday, the sights you want to see, music you'd like to dance to someday, converts you want to see, things you want to do in life with that person by your side, goals you have...the possibilities are endless. But have fun setting the stage for your future and envisioning it happen.
12. If you live together and need some decor for your place, buy a canvas and some paint...and paint something together. Make it abstract or detailed. Whatever you want it to be...but do it together and create a work of art.
13. Buy books for each other. Reading tastes are pretty unique and they give a lot of insight about loved ones. Buy a book you enjoy, make a pact that both of you will read the book you are gifted, and share notes afterward. It can be a book club for both of you!
14. Even better than buying books for each other...go to your nearest major bookstore and leave notes in random books that people will eventually buy and stumble upon!
15. Build a blanket fort and watch a movie in it. Stuff some pillows in for comfort and fall asleep there if you get the chance. Why? Because Valentine's Day is something we've celebrated since we were kids, whether it was forced in school or whether it's our favorite now...Connect with your inner child, look at the person next to you and enjoy a movie.