>Valentine’s Day approaches the US market every February, and with it, the deluge of candy, flowers and cards that are both sweet and appropriate for the day. For those of you that are seeking a budget friendly yet truthful way to express your love on a daily basis, consider these alternatives to the classic three.
- Start Right. Begin the day with breakfast in bed. It’s not hard to put together a warm tea or cup of steaming coffee, pancakes or toast and a beautiful arrangement of fresh fruit, even if you are surrounded by children of all ages. Are you in the family way? Assign your tribe a age specific job like folding a napkin, buttering toast, pouring juice or making the pancakes. Including putting a rose in a vase, and singing the “I love you” song. Note to all breakfast crews: dishes are part of it. Clean up is vital.
- Coupons. Make an impression by creating your own coupon book of things that your love can really appreciate. Include a foot massage, a trip to his/her favorite store, movie or playhouse. Be as tame or risque as you chose, from “doing the dishes” to moments of passion you will both enjoy.
- Run away from home. Enlist a family member or friend to take the kids, dogs or pet fish for the day and spend the entire day being with your love – with no agenda. Browse through life and try something new together, or revisit the memorable sites of your past. If weather and finances permit, take a long drive to a new destination, sit next to one another and experience all the joys of a “first date.” Note: avoid places with TV’s or really loud music. Focus on your conversation and leave the cell phones in the car. Laugh, create memories.
- Anticipation. A few days before Valentines, put your post it notes to work. Say “I love you” in those unique and special ways that only your mate understands – post it to the milk, on the bathroom mirror, on the steering wheel of the car…tell the person that you love something unique and special that makes them the highlight of your life. One recent message to my husband read “You’re an amazing person who encourages me to be a better person.” He said it made his day.
- Go Postal. If you really want to send a card, do it today…through the postal system. Send it to work or home, someplace where your love will receive it unexpectedly. Write something thoughtful inside, not a simply “Happy Valentines.” Be specific about what you’re grateful for and share it openly. Really want to score points? Make the card from things that you share as memories.
Valentines is the opportunity for you to celebrate the person that you love as an individual. It’s an invitation to shower compliments, respect and love on each other in a truthful way, and to share in an intentional togetherness. My favorite idea that isn’t included above is a classic as well…grab scented candles, bubble bath, a great bottle of wine or grape juice, and some scented oil. Fill your tub with fragrant bubbles and pamper the person you love with a soak for one or two that includes a relaxing shoulder rub or foot massage. My all time favorite memory is a bathtub conversation with the love of my life amidst wine and bubbles. Find your muse by searching ideas on the web, looking through a magazine or being imaginative. Most of all, remember that the day is about enjoying being in community as a couple, not about the bling or the buzz or what you can buy.