Valentine’s day is celebrated by millions of lovers worldwide on 14th February every year. Originally, the day was used to celebrate numerous figures throughout history, such as Saint Valentine. Even the Romans used to celebrate this festival, and it has also been used to celebrate fertility rites and the pairing of women to men in a lottery style ceremony.
Is Valentine’s Day Just a Gimmick?
In modern culture, we use this day to shower lovers with gifts, cards, and treats to show our love for them. But is it truly necessary? Shouldn’t we show our love and gratitude every day? I suppose it is nice to have a day dedicated to expressing love, especially as (during normal times) many people have hectic work schedules, busy family lives, and often work away from home. Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be about the biggest bunch of roses, or the most expensive jewellery. I’m going to share some inexpensive ideas with you that will mean more to your loved one than the usual, mindless, commercial items that are shoved in our faces. I also prefer gifts I can keep; chocolates last 2 minutes and flowers eventually die!
Last year I wrote a piece about having a romantic time during lockdown (who knew this would still be relevant right now!?) so I won’t go into how to celebrate as you can read those tips in that post. Today, I will focus on feeling romance and love through gifting and gestures.
Gifts for Less
I am a sucker for true romance. If I receive a gift, of anyone, I want to feel like that person knows me so well that they really have chosen that gift especially for me. Here are some personalised ideas that don’t cost a fortune.
- Photo book – I use Photobox and the quality is always very good. They have an offer on so use code SAVE30 for 30% off your order, and no minimum spend. Alternatively, make a photo album yourself and save money.
- Special Place Print – I love this print from Not on the Highstreet. You choose a significant place, such as your first date, where you got marries, first home etc. The map is heart shaped and the details of the place below. I’d love this and I’m sure your loved one will too. To reduce the cost, print the place map off online and hand make the style.
- Mix Tape – I know nobody had tapes anymore, but a playlist of all the significant songs together, favourites, or just ones to enjoy together. It costs nothing if you do it yourself and able to burn a CD or make a playlist. If you are retro enough to still have a tape deck and want to buy a personalised cassette, then head to ETSY and check out this seller.
- Pamper Kit – I have used this idea a few times for birthdays and other celebrations and it always goes down a treat. Find an inexpensive box or crate ( I love these pine ones from Ikea), paint/decorate/leave natural, and fill with all the goodies your loved one likes. I’ve done gin themed, spa themed and other various ones for friends. Add a personal touch with handwritten notes, add a quote to the box, and use your lovers favourite colour.
Singletons Need Not Cry
If you’re in the singles club like me, then valentines day can be a sad reminder that we are ‘not loved’, but over the years I have grown to show myself that love and to not dwell on being single. I like to show loved ones (not partners) gratitude for being in my life and this is the perfect day to do it. I believe this day should be about expressing love of all types, and in not exclusive for ‘sexual’ partners in life.
- Galentine’s Day – the ideas for gifts can still be as affectionate for friends. I always send my best friend a Vals Day card (even though she married).
- Celebrate with Children – I always cook a romantic meal, make the table look pretty, and give my children cards. As they’ve got older they think I’m weird, and cringe at the thought of having a ‘romantic’ meal with Mum, but I know deep down they love it.
- Pamper Night – If you are single, no kids, and live alone, celebrate yourself. Buy your favourite food, treats, relaxation products, and buy yourself that special treat you wouldn’t normally have. Make a collage of all your favourite memories over the years, play your favourite music and have a boogie. Just reward yourself for being an amazing human.
- Special Treat – Do something kind for yourself. Recently I decorated my bedroom, bought a lush duvet cover, and a few luxurious (but inexpensive) accessories. My bedroom is now a tranquil place for me to rest and take time for myself. Buy a nice print that inspires you and gives you the feeling of love. I’ve used Desenio quite a few times, and love their prints, and displayed in some lovely ornate frames, they really do bring a smile to my face when I read them.
Do I have to Celebrate?
Of course you don’t! For some, 14th February is just another day. Don’t feel pressured by society or social media to celebrate, or even worse, feel guilty for not celebrating! Many times this day made me feel unloved, and I’d cry that I was all alone. Even couples may decide not to celebrate, save the money for something else. Don’t feel you have to contribute to the commercial pressure of this day.
Go about your day as normal, celebrate others if you so wish, and be happy.
As Andrew Matthews said,
“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves”