February 14th is just around the corner! In a couple weeks’ time 180 million Valentine Cards and 198 million roses will be exchanged to husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, crushes, and secret admirers across the country. Chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and fancy dinners out will be expected by many, and couples far and wide will gather to celebrate their special romance.
Valentine’s Day may seem silly to some, but it’s celebrated in many countries (Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, Great Britain and the United States all celebrate) and it’s a holiday with a rich history. While historians will agree the history is murky, there’s no doubt that the Valentine’s Day celebrations can be traced back to one person—the illustrious Saint Valentine. One legend claims Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome during the 3rd Century. When marriage was forbidden for young men because it was believed single men made better soldiers, Saint Valentine began marrying young couples in secret. When he was caught, he was sentenced to death. Another legend claims Saint Valentine helped Christians escape brutal Roman prisons. When he was caught and imprisoned, he sent a “valentine” greeting to his lover from his jail cell, signing it “From your Valentine.”
Whatever legend is true, the stories of Saint Valentine always present him as both a romantic and a hero, aiming to make life better for those around him. And while the traditions have changed over the years, romance has always been at the holiday’s core.
How will you celebrate this year? Whether you’re married, in a new relationship, or enjoying being single, we’ve got great suggestions for a successful Valentine’s Day that go beyond the traditional box of chocolates and dinner.
FOR ALL YOU COUPLES OUT THERE…
Play up the romance! No one says Valentine’s Day needs to break the bank. There are tons of ways to say “I Love You” without spending millions on diamonds or making dinner reservations six months in advance. Keep it simple and sweet. If you’ve both been bogged down with work, the kids, the house, and the bills, maybe a big fancy night out will seem more daunting than pleasurable. So keep it simple, but still romantic. How about a home-cooked meal in? Set the table with cute Valentine’s Day love candles (and as an added bonus, these are portable if you want to take your dinner outside) and cook one of your Valentine’s favorite meals. Set the scene with these adorable “Love is in the Air” soap bubbles. Give gifts that show you know you’re partner: For those who love quirky accessories, these Audrey Hepburn, Jimi Hendrix or Queen Elizabeth flower pots or funny nose mugs will be great. Or, if you want to show your appreciation in a fun and unique way, try these motivation cards – because everyone loves a positive message every now and then.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE PROUD AND SINGLE…
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a day where you send flowers to yourself and wallow in self-misery. Instead, gather your single girlfriends and have a special Valentine’s Day party all your own. How about a tea party? Accessorize with these funny tea characters that sit right in your mug and allow you to have tea with Queen Elizabeth and Audrey Hepburn. Have some tasty appetizers and fun games ready to play and celebrate your independence!
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE CRAFTY AND SWEET…
The best gifts are the ones that are handmade. All of us can go to the store and buy something nice, have it gift wrapped and present it to our Valentine alongside a store bought card with someone else’s words. Don’t get me wrong, those gifts can be wonderful, but to kick it up a notch, why not pair your gift with one that you made yourself? Even better, get your kids involved and they can add a personalized touch to the gift for mom or dad. Write a message on a cute, personalized card or add your signature with this gift stamp cube. Peruse Pinterest for some easy, homemade crafts! Whatever your skill level, there are easy ways to give your gift a nice personal touch.