Valentine’s Day, one of the most “ragged on” holidays out there. People throw anti-Valentine’s parties and roll their eyes when you ask about their plans or talk about your own. In short, this day gets a pretty bad rap.
But maybe it’s just about a shift in perspective. True-we should use every day to show the people we love how we feel, but there’s something quaint about a day set apart especially to really spoil those special someones in our lives- a throwback to old school romance.
The real issue here is what spoiling means. The part about this holiday that rubs people the wrong way basically boils down to money and pressure. Men (and women) feel like they have to do something ridiculously grand and try to one up their attempts from previous years. This usually involves going to fancy restaurants, buying extravagant gifts and diamond rings, or re-creating some insane The Bachelor-style date. (Flying to Tuscany for a dinner date in a private villa with fireworks followed by elephant rides and a private concert are totally realistic, right?)
Well here at Kijiji, we say no more. Why can’t we love Valentine’s Day without fear of ridicule and embrace it for what it really should be? Here are some ideas for gifts and dates that will make this February 14th a day your special person won’t forget and a day your wallet will barely notice.
Feeling pressured into a splashy Valentines?
Anything DIY (Do-It-Yourself) instantly earns you points for originality and heart since you’re putting in your own time and creativity. There are the go-to classics like framed pictures or handmade cards, but if you’re the risk-taking type or you happen to be feeling extra creative, you can gear your gift towards your person’s personality or obsessions. Music lover? Go old school and make a mix tape/cd. Sentimental type? Make a little book about your story, or fill a jar with post it notes filled with everything you like about them.
If you have the extra cash and two left hands that can’t draw a picture to save your life, then go with a meaningful gift- their favorite first edition book, or thoughtful mementos from their childhood will always hit home.
Typical Valentines dates can be a lot more pressure and stress than they should be. Reservations sometimes get lost so you’re all stressed waiting for your table, you’re paying more than what you usually would in order to pamper or impress your date, you’re next to all these other couples who are all out only because it’s the 14th day of February, and you feel forced to be extra lovey and romantic while a whole restaurant of people are doing the same. If that doesn’t sound like your scene, keep it low key and personalized. Get food from your favourite restaurant or takeout place – (if you’re feeling adventurous, mix your cuisines. Some sushi from your go-to Japanese place, some pasta, some greek food-whatever it is you feel like. The more variety there is, the more festive it feels!
Want to amp it up? Try dinner and a movie with a twist. Spread out a towel or blanket on the floor and watch a movie in front of the tv while you’re eating your takeout dinner. A picnic and movie in one. Unique and affordable- two of our favourite combinations.
And hey, if you’re not into the pressure of romantic one on one dates, why not try a group date then? Group pot luck, group laser tag- couple vs, couple, group board game night with wine and chocolates?
Maybe that corner of your house that has been used as a landing place for guests coats or to stash the cat food has some untapped potential that could be unlocked by a fresh coat of paint, seating for two, and lots of plants. A little elbow grease can transform a space into a romantic breakfast nook for two, which can be a romantic space to enjoy year round!
The point is Valentine’s Day doesn’t HAVE to be the commercial holiday it seems to have become. Try some of these ideas, share them or put your own little twist on them- either way, make this Valentine’s Day one for the books (without making your wallet cry or stress levels rise.)