It’s already started…the flood of emails from every retailer in America! Even my cellphone company has inundated my inbox with “the perfect gift” for my Valentine. Funny, I am pretty certain the perfect gift for my valentine, can’t be bought, and in fact would be illegal if paid for in 49 states. This all goes back to the society of consumerism we live in. Hell, I can’t blame these companies for wanting to make a buck or well, 40 billion bucks give or take, but I can refrain from their super sweet passive aggressive tactics to get me to spend, spend, spend. And you can too my friends! Here is a list of things to do other than spend $$$ to have a romantic, fun Valentine’s Day.
Make the Beast!
This one is first in honor of my good friend, Darren. Anyone who has seen The Addams Family Musical will know what this means, but for those of you out there scratching your heads, I will lay it out for you. Be intimate with your partner. There is no better day for it and here is a link providing you all the wonderful health benefits of getting it on (courtesy of Men’s Health). This is free and fun! Be adventurous. For the ladies, find something in your closet that your partner would find incredibly sexy if it were worn with nothing underneath. Maybe it’s the clichéd men’s work shirt, or maybe you have some sheer tops you typically wear to work. Pair that with a sexy pair of panties (such a gross word) and boom! Instalingerie without the hefty price tag Ms. Secret places on all her fancy schmancy items. For the gents, do something super sweet. Maybe you grab her a single rose or get the oil out and give her that massage she has been begging for since you said “I do.” Perhaps cook her a delicious meal and make the whole conversation over dinner about how much you adore her. We eat that shit up like candy, bro!
Rent Sappy Old Love Stories From The Library
Go to the library and rent some classic love stories that maybe you have or maybe you haven’t seen before. Movies today are just not the same, and these old love stories are bound to make sure you get to #1 on this list. Here is a link to AMC’s list of the top 50 romantic movies. There are some oldies and some newer options for your viewing pleasure. Pop some popcorn, and snuggle up on the couch. Better yet, blow up the air mattress and create a little lover’s paradise on the living room floor. This can lend itself to all sorts of fun, romantic ideas. Maybe have some chocolate covered strawberries and champagne ready for candlelit conversation on your little lover’s paradise. The options here are endless.
Handmade Valentine’s Swap
A few years back, we decided we would not buy each other VD gifts, but rather we had to make something. I grabbed a plain white coffee mug from the dollar store, and used a sharpie to write the words to our wedding song on there. I am not going to lie…this looked like a 3 year old did it. It was awful, but the hubs loved it, or at least pretended to love it. Come to think of it, it is kept in the garage to hold pencils, so maybe he is embarrassed of it….anyway, his gift to me was amazing! He wrote me a poem and framed it for me in a huge red frame. This hangs in our room today, and brings me a smile every time I see it. Guys, I am serious, WRITE A POEM! Guaranteed to make the beast at least three times that night. Just sayin. I have not decided what I am going to do this year, but I sure will have to get creative as we are in #nospendfebruary.
Go For A Romantic Walk/Picnic
Now if you live where we live, you will not be participating in this activity unless freezing your balls off is appealing to you. Some people do love a winter hike, my husband included, but I leave that for him and the kiddos. The three of them love winter adventures, and I, well, I love hot chocolate and summer, and all things Olaf loves because all of those things are warm. I am cold enough on my own, thank you very much. In all seriousness though, this is a great idea! It is good exercise, it is aesthetically appealing to the eye, nature is good for the soul, and the list goes on. Grab a bird book from the library, and see how many birds you can spot. Take photos of the flowers, trees, wildlife, etc, and create an adventure book. In the summer, I am all over these types of adventures. Very romantic!
Cook a New Meal Together
Hey, ya gotta eat, right? So why not spend your grocery money on some ingredients you may have never tried before to cook a unique meal. Crab legs are probably on sale at this time, and they are super easy to make. Make a triple layer mousse cake or some other decadent dessert that will make you feel as though you are dining at Chicago’s finest restaurant. You could even set the tone to reflect a romantic restaurant. Grab a card table, throw a white table cloth over it, put a candle on, remove all clutter and kids toys and make a romantic spot to enjoy your meal. Music! Be sure to have romantic music on in the background. Get dressed up! Put on that dress that makes you feel like the goddess you are, and gents put on a nice pair of slacks, a button down, and a tie. Just because you’re staying in, doesn’t mean you can’t get all fancy.
Guys, how many times have you just grabbed your wife and started slow dancing with her? If the answer is never, you’re doing it wrong. I know it probably seems silly, but this is one super romantic gesture. Anytime our wedding song plays, we stop what we are doing and slow dance. It takes me back to that day we said our vows each and every time. I look at my husband and think how lucky I am to be married to him. I get to share my life with this man, and when he wraps me up in his arms for a dance, it just melts my soul. This Valentine’s Day, after dinner, have a few songs ready to go, hit play, and just hold each other close. Feel the warmth of the other person, inhale them, and just take this time to fully let go and just be. If you want to liven it up, have a set list created pre-valentine’s day, and dance it out all night! Our daughter wanted a disco ball for Christmas, and I tell you what that little $20 investment really does create a club like setting at home. We had a dance party with the kiddos over Christmas break and it was pretty damn awesome.
Host A Beer/Wine Tasting
For #nospendfebruary we are limiting the amount of cash we spend on alcohol, but we factor that into our grocery budget so for us this wouldn’t be breaking our challenge. The grocery stores by us have a craft beer section that is all individual bottles and you can create your own 6 pack. This would be an awesome way to host your own tasting. Each of you could pick 3 or 6, and do some research on the brewery and what the beer pairs well with. This will give you things to talk about and learn while you try new beers. Wines would be a little more difficult, but maybe you each grab one bottle of wine and do the same thing
Pick Up A Newspaper
Ok, bear with me on this one. I am not suggesting a romantic evening of reading the newspaper, however if that is your thing, high five bro! I am making this suggestion for you to check out what’s happening in your town locally that may cost next to nothing or even nothing at all. There may be open mic nights, free theatre shows, maybe a book signing, perhaps a poetry reading etc. Your community has a lot to offer, and if you are only using your phone to surf the web for ideas, you may be missing out on a lot of great things happening in your own little community. In Chicago, for example, several of the museums are offering free admission for Illinois residents. That’s pretty sweet! A day at The Art Museum can be quite the romantic venture.
Long story short, there are a lot of things you can do this Valentine’s Day on the cheap yet make it more memorable and romantic than any other VD prior. VD is about love, not gifts. I understand that some people like to show affection with gifts, and that is ok. I am not here to judge you, but rather challenge you to consider showing your love in different ways. Don’t be a slave to consumerism, my friends. Get creative and have a super fun, sexy, crazy, romantic #ValentinesDay!