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Making Valentines’ Day Special

February 11, 2009

img_88552Valentine is a holiday so wrapped up in consumerism—it’s just sad. I’ve been putting off buying V-Day cards for the kids’ classes because they just keep getting more and more expensive and what do we do with them after they bring them home? When the kids aren’t looking we throw them away. (Or at least, I do. Some of you may store them in a pretty box for the kids to pull out when they’re twenty. I don’t personally have the closet space or the sentimentality for such things. J) So I have had an epiphany.



I am not buying Valentines Day cards this year. I am not spending upwards of $10 on a few pieces of cardstock that are going to get trashed, all for the sake of boosting our sagging economy. Instead, the kids and I are going to spend some quality time over some cookies, which we are going to bag with a cute little note that says, “Made with love by insert appropriate name here.”


I’ve been pondering what other things we can do this year to make the holiday memorable but inexpensive at the same time. We’ve run the gamut in our thirteen years of marriage. When we were young and newly-wed, I would cook a fancy meal and we’d eat at home, with candles, our wedding china, and linen napkins. Then I got tired of doing the dishes. Later it became a holiday of simple jewelry, or an overnight trip to an area hotel with a spa. Now, Valentines’ Day has become more kid-centric, despite its origins.


Here are some other low-cost ideas for a special Valentine’s Day for both couples and families:



Surprise your child by showing up at school for a special Valentine’s Day  lunch, or, if possible, check them out for a quick fast food lunch.



Have a “picnic dinner,” either indoors or out. Spread a blanket on the floor or ground and have picnic food—rotisserie chicken or chicken salad and rolls, baked beans, potato salad, devilled eggs, cupcakes…Make this a special treat involving the children or a romantic evening just for the adults.



Instead of eating out, have a romantic dinner in. If you don’t feel like cooking, pick up a meal for two at a restaurant or an at-home gourmet that preps the meal beforehand. Follow with a romantic movie.



Make a Valentine’s Alphabet Card, either for your significant other or with your children. Let each letter stand for something that shows your affection in a meaningful way. For a spouse, for instance, “A” might stand for “anniversary trip,” and “A” for a child might stand for “A+ attitude”. You may consider using stickers and scrapbook paper to make the card.



Send your spouse a sexy email at work, or tuck a love letter in his wallet to discover later in the day.



Write a message in lipstick on the mirror or the car window for your spouse or children to discover in the morning.



Make pancakes the morning of Valentines’ Day with a heart formed of chocolate chips or blueberries in the center.

Autumn stirring the oatmeal and peanut butter into the cocoa mixture. Yum.

Autumn stirring the oatmeal and peanut butter into the cocoa mixture. Yum.



Lawson being a biiiig helper. Such a little man.

Lawson being a biiiig helper. Such a little man.





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