Rooted in days of St. Valentine, the practice of writing romantic notes on Valentine's day began in the 1700s, and by the mid 1800s, real Valentine's cards were being manufactured in the U.S. By 1856, Valentine cards had become a topic of controversy. An editorial in the New York Times stated that many were cheap and indecent and only pleased the silly. Some relegate Valentine's to a holiday created by Hallmark, which wasn't even founded until 1910.
History or Hallmark, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to tell that special person just how happy you are to have them in your life. Here are a few tips for a great Valentine's Day that won't break the bank.
- Free Time. In our hectic lives we never have enough time for ourselves. Give your special Valentine, a free day to pamper themselves.
- Make it Personal. Tap into your creativity with colored card stock, scissors, glue, glitter and some colored markers to create a personalized Valentine card.
- Dine Out. Save a few dining dollars by eating in and then going out for drinks or dessert, or choose several items from the appetizer menu and share.
- Movie Night. Instead of dropping big bucks for a movie and the popcorn, candy and sodas which will likely run you more than the tickets, stay in and treat yourselves to delivery and rent a favorite movie.
- Flowers. Nix the expensive roses in favor of a beautiful mixed bouquet from the farmers market, or visit the grocery store's floral department.
- Goody Baskets. Pick up an inexpensive basket and fill it with such things as her favorite candy, lip balm, hand lotion, or scented candles. For him, a bottle of his favorite beer (not Bud), a decorative bottle opener, a pocket flash light, key chain, and yes, lip balm. This is Valentine's, you know.
- Cook. Even if you're not great in the kitchen, you can still serve a romantic meal. Get some Artisan bread, good olive oil, a nice cheese, olives and/or deli meat such as salami or prosciutto.
- Quality time. Spend time together strolling through a museum, take in an art show or a local concert. Check your newspaper for a listing of free events in your area.
- IOU. Present him or her with an IOU for two hours of your time and undivided attention.
- Do Chores. Wash and vacuum her car, do the vacuuming, take and pick up the dry cleaning, do the grocery shopping or the laundry.
- Togetherness. Take a walk or go for a drive and stop for ice cream or coffee/hot chocolate.
- Raise a Glass. Not all sparkling wines are expensive. Try a Spanish Cava or a Prosecco from Italy. There are ones are available for $10-15. Goes well with #7.
- Sweets. Yes, you can give candy. Pick up his favorite dark chocolate bar or choose some hand-selected truffles from a boutique or wine shop for her.
- Those three little words. I Love You! That is something that can't be said too often and is always appreciated no matter what day it is.
However you celebrate, remember it's all about the person, not the gifts, dinner, candy, etc.
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