Valentine's Day is coming quickly, but if you don't have any ideas it's okay! Showing love to the people you cherish most doesn't have to be extremely expensive or intricate. All it takes is a little thought and time to make sure your loved ones feel valued.
First, think about who you want to celebrate for Valentine's Day. Probably your spouse or significant other, or perhaps your parents or your children. Maybe you have a best friend who you want to shower with gifts this year? Once you have an idea of who you want to celebrate, you can start thinking of what to give.
The Romantic Valentine
This is what we all think of as the traditional valentine, but don't just fall back on chocolate and flowers. Try your hand at writing a poem. If you're not a poet, it's okay. Try anyway. You might just stumble on something really hilarious (and laughter is the best thing in the world!) Reveal the poem by reading it out loud over a Valentine's Day dinner.
Think about the person you love. What does he or she really enjoy? Maybe it's a home cooked meal with a table set for two, hand-cut paper hearts (or heart-shaped paper doilies) with hand-written love notes sprinkled on the table. Maybe it's a date night in (perhaps a rented movie, a bag of microwave popcorn, and a new throw blanket to cuddle under, all packaged inside a beautiful serving bowl for eating the popcorn). Or maybe he or she would appreciate a vow booklet (several pages bound together with a new vow on each one: "I vow to fill up your tank with gas for the next month." or "I vow to clean the bathrooms for one month.") Think about things specific to your relationship that would make your significant other smile. Consider a progressive dinner/date night where you must go to several different places, either new places or some of your favorite old places. Get appetizers, dinner, desserts, coffee, drinks, with an added surprise like shopping or watching the sunset.
The Platonic Valentine
There are likely plenty of people on this planet who you love platonically, including friends and family members. Show them you care by showering them with gifts. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- This "I love you a latte" mug will take some time, but if you're making gifts for multiple coffee lovers, it will be worth it.
- Make a memory shadow box. Include anything you own that reminds you of things you've done together. Movie and concert tickets, rocks from places you've been, napkins from your favorite casual eateries ... you could even include things that represent memories (for instance, a wooden carving of a giraffe if you sat and watched giraffes at the zoo for hours one day)! For your parents, you could include things that represent moment throughout your childhood where your parents showed love to you. For instance, a pair of little mittens to represent all the times your parents helped you to put yours on.
- For the person who loves to cook, or for someone who just got a new place, consider a bouquet of new, fancy kitchen utensils. Shop your nearest thrift store for a jar, bucket, or flower pot that will fit your bouquet. Paint it if you like, tie a ribbon around the outside, and present your beautiful, practical gift that will be used for years.
- While thoughtful gifting is a difficult task, all it really takes is a little time and effort. Remember that sometimes it's not a tangible gift, but simply a couple hours of time spent over coffee. If you have too many friends to celebrate and not enough funds to support it, invite everyone over for a wine and chocolate night. Clean your house and set out some dishes, make some décor if you wish. (Hint: streamers are always a festive and cheap way to transform a room.) Grab a couple bottles of wine and make some chocolate fondue. Ask your guests to each bring a bottle of wine and a food item to dip in chocolate. Play Valentine's Mad Libs or ask your guests to bring their funniest date stories to get the laughter and good times rolling.
In the end, Valentine's Day is just about spreading love to the people around you. So, go, spread the love!