Today is Valentine’s Day. I’m not going to get into the history of the day (partially because I don’t know it and don’t have time to research it; partially because it just doesn’t matter that much to me!). The long and short of it from my perspective is that Valentine’s Day has become nothing more than a marketing dream trying to convince people to spend crazy amounts of money on gifts for their significant other.
That dozen roses you paid $9.99 for three weeks ago? $29.99 this week. Heart shaped chocolates? $9.99 for a box that should cost about $3.00. As for dinner out – I heard it best described by a man I work with – why do I want to go out to a crowded restaurant, get bad service, wait too long, only to get food that is either cold or not cooked right because they are too busy? He’s right!
Bruce & I have been married for almost 12 years. Maybe the romance is gone, or maybe we just recognize what is important to us, but celebrating February 14th is just not on our radar. However, if you and your partner want to celebrate, there are lots of romantic ways to celebrate that won’t leave your wallet groaning.
Traditional ideas include cooking a romantic, candlelight dinner, giving each other a massage, or even having a bubble bath together. Here are 10 other ways celebrate your love, though!
1. Bake a batch of your partner’s favourite cookie (or muffin, etc.) Make them heart shaped if possible.
2. Using heart shaped paper (construction paper, or sticky notes), write reasons you love your partner on the notes and leave them in places they will find them.
3. Take care of a chore you know your partner hates (I hate cleaning my bathrooms!)
4. Surprise your partner at work with their favourite fancy coffee or sweet treat (much less expensive than flowers).
5. Get crafty – select a photo of the two of you that has meaning, and either frame it for their enjoyment, or create a collage/scrapbook page out of some photos. Framing requires little crafty talent!
6. Play a game together (board game, cards). Make the reward something fun (strip chess, anyone? )
7. Read poetry to each other.
8. If you’re musical, serenade your partner!
9. Perform a strip tease for your partner!
10. Tell them you love them every day – not just Valentine’s Day.
I’m working tonight, so Bruce & I won’t even see each other, but it doesn’t matter. We know we’re good.
However, another budget buster on Valentine’s Day can be kids! Between cards, parties, gifts, it can really add up. I’m finally reaching the point that Valentine’s is not an issue – I think I spent a total of $15 this year on one box of cards for my youngest son’s class, and three small boxes of chocolate for my kids. I’ve been reading blogs where people are shelling out big bucks for enough individually wrapped cookies for their child’s whole class! Are you kidding me? Assuming a cost of ~$1 per cookie or more, and a class size of ~25-30 kids, that would cost me almost $100 just for the cookies, never mind the cards and other accessories. This is one area that can be a real budget buster, but doesn’t have to be.
If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day today, have a great day, and try not to break the bank!