10 Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Special on a Budget
Expensive gifts, dinners or trips don't necessarily mean the most for Valentine's Day. They just cost the most.
There is a lot of media and retail generated pressure to break the bank and come up with the latest and greatest for our significant others. And that's just what it is: generated pressure.
There are ways to let your loved one know that they are special and that they hold a unique place in your life and heart without spending an arm and a leg.
Avoid Equating Love Wtih Consumption
Love isn't about what you give in goods; it's about what you give by way of time, attention and acknowledgment of the other person. And none of those can be purchased.
Minimize Rather Than Do Without
Instead of giving her a dozen red roses, give her one. Give him a special brand of chocolate bar instead of a whole box of expensive chocolates. This way, you can still participate in the essence of Valentine's Day but spend very little.
Make Your Own or Do It Yourself
Use your own skills when making gifts. For example, if you love to garden, give something from the garden; if you love to cook, make something delicious; and if you're an outdoor enthusiast, give a fully-guided nature walk or a lesson in your favorite sport.
Homemade cards are always better than purchased ones and will be kept as mementos far longer.
Do Something For Your Loved One
When I come home from work or from out of town and my sweet husband has done dishes, taken out the trash or vacuumed, it means the world to me. On the other hand, when he comes home from a long week and I give him a back rub and fix his favorite food, he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I deeply love and care about him.
Exchange Gifts That Remind You of One Another
Little tokens that remind your loved one of how or where you met. My husband is from California and we have visited his hometown a couple of times. I might get him a surfboard key chain and frame a picture from one of our trips there.
Give Your Time
Possibly the most romantic gesture is giving your time and attention to your significant other. We often take each other for granted and easily let each other slip to the bottom of the list with all of the other plates we have spinning. Turn off the cell phone and computer and spend time being present with your love. It means more than anything material.
Hey, it may sound cheesy, but some nights and early mornings my husband and I love to grab a cup of coffee or more adult beverage and step outside to see the sky.
It takes us away from the world for just a little bit and lets us be together. Plus, seeing how big the universe is puts our problems in perspective.
How often do we get in a rut submitting to our daily routine? Break the routine and don't be afraid to do something different.
We love to just get in the car sometimes and drive around until we see something we want to do or a new restaurant or place we want to try. We also try not to plan our free time; more fun happens that way. It also keeps you young and forward thinking.
Revisit Your Memories Together
Whether the memories were made together or from when you were children, sharing memories with each other draws you closer.
If possible, take your loved one back to a place they enjoyed as a child, such as their childhood home, baseball field or school. My husband and I drove by his childhood neighborhood, school and places he frequented growing up. It made me feel closer to him and also delighted me to see the light in his eyes when he recalled stories about those places.
We have done the same thing for places from my childhood. Of course, memories of you both together are always fun. My husband and I went parking at a local lake when we were dating. Now, every time we drive past that exit we give each other a sly grin.
Say I Love You
It almost sounds too easy, doesn't it? But it makes a difference. Not the way we throw it out glibly, but really saying it and meaning it.
Let your loved one know that the love comes from your heart and soul and that they are the only one who holds that place.