Editor’s Note: I’m celebrating my husband’s birthday today, so Tanya from Eat Laugh Purr is sharing some great ideas on celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day brings out a variety of emotions in people. Many dislike it for it’s overt commercialization while others love being showered with red roses and dark chocolates. Some breakout in hives over finding the perfect gift and a few get indigestion from all the happy coupling.
In other words, it can be a real minefield and one false step could land in you hot water. But it doesn’t have to be that way because celebrating love is never a bad thing and should be fun too. There are a few keys to making the holiday a great success. Let me show you how.
Valentine’s Day Gift-Giving Rules
It begins by laying down some ground rules, so everyone is on the same page and no one ends up with hurt feelings. After all, we’re celebrating love, not disappointment!
Don’t Play Keep Up
Many of us get caught up in the hype of the holidays and spend more than we should because we are influenced by what others do and want to be competitive. Good marketers know this and put pressure us to demonstrate how deep and true our love is through expensive gifts. Savvy people don’t fall for this gambit.
So be smart and ignore what everyone else is doing. Instead figure out how you and your special guy or gal want to spend the holiday.
Set Expectations on Gifts
It may not be sexy or spontaneous but setting a dollar amount on gifts can actually lower the odds of disappointment. The amount should reflect what money you have to spend AND want to spend. This isn’t a mandatory holiday, so don’t feel obligated to spend much or anything for that matter. Figure out where it falls within all your other goals/priorities/wants and set an appropriate amount together.
Note: You can also agree to not exchange gifts too. But before you suggest this, read the tip below first.
Heart-Breaker Tip: You may not enjoy the holiday, but your significant other might. Be mindful of his/her feelings and work together on how to celebrate the holiday in a way that makes both of you happy. Otherwise you may wind-up sleeping in the doghouse.
Remember The Golden-Rule of Gift-Giving
Regardless of the holiday, this rule always holds true. The value of a gift IS NOT its price-tag. It is the love and thought that went into the gift that makes it priceless.
Determine Who Is In Charge
Beyond gifts, many couples also tend to enjoy a night out as well or in lieu of gifts. Decide now if one should plan it and surprise the other or if you prefer to decide together. Just like with gifts, set a dollar amount and decide who is in charge of making reservations and/or finding a babysitter.
Heart-Breaker Tip: Remember, you don’t have to celebrate on Valentine’s Day either, so if your favorite band is going to be in town two months from now, attending the concert could be how you choose to celebrate the holiday.
3 Fun Ways to Demonstrate Your Love
There are countless ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here are just a few ideas to help romance your sweetheart.
Recreate Your First Date
This a sentimental favorite, especially if you’ve been together long enough where you really have to put some effort into this. Obviously, you may need to make a few tweaks to pull this off, an indoor picnic versus freezing your tushie off outside, but you’ll still score major bonus points if you can pull this one off.
Heart-Breaker Tip: Consider some minor (or major) upgrades too. Your first date was at McDonalds, which is probably not as impressive today, so upgrade to a nice Pub burger and make a playlist with the songs from the era of your first date to cruise around to afterwards.
Be Mindfully Indulgent
Even though overindulgence seems to be more a common problem today, there are still many people who struggle to give themselves permission to spend their money on things other than practical needs. This is your chance to help them let go a bit. If your spouse has always wanted a massage but worries it’s too frivolous, book a couples massage.
As Shannon has always said, money is meant to be a gift, so consider finding something a little indulgent (but still within your budget) to do that you both would enjoy.
Create a Private Treasure Hunt
This can take a little bit of time, but is so much fun. I suggest using a few old mementos (class ring if you’re high school sweethearts, wedding garter belt etc.) and some new gifts too. Hide them around the house and leave notes with hints. If both of you want to do this, divvy up the house, so you don’t accidentally use the same hiding spots.
Bonus Idea: Love Notes for the Family
Shannon shared this idea for a Valentine’s Day Love Box a couple years ago and I love it. Everyone in the Ryan household has their own Valentine’s Day box and they leave each other special notes throughout the week. A great, low-cost way to celebrate the holiday and involve the kids.
Love is in the Air
Valentine’s Day is considered a joke or money-grab by some but it can be a meaningful and enjoyable holiday if you follow the rules and do a little planning.
Are you a fan of Valentine’s Day? What’s been your favorite gift? Or worst?