The Art of Love & Money 5 Simple Yet Lovely Valentine's Day Celebrations with 3 wooden hearts in background
The Art of Love & Money 5 Simple Yet Lovely Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner – tomorrow, in fact.  So, I thought I’d provide you with 5 simple yet lovely Valentine’s Day celebration ideas.  You have time and energy to pull all of these off – just pick one and swing by the store for your ingredients on the way home tonight.

Whether you are a fan of the “Hallmark Holiday” or not, there is no question that it can be a budget buster, high maintenance chore – and you may be scratching your head wondering if it is worth all of the time and effort spent.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Holidays.

In fact, I am a fan of all holidays, having shared with my husband that I want to celebrate every small holiday that comes along in some small way – life has enough ordinary days.

What’s not to love about a little break in the monotony?

I like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo – and not just for the drinking.  I love to relish in the history, try new recipes, go out to new restaurants and try new dishes.  I do the work for these – after all – it’s not at all important to him .  All I ask is that he plays along with a smile on his face and an easy going attitude.

Valentine’s Day is in a controversial category all of it’s own.  Some couples spend hundreds of dollars on roses, wining and dining, lavish gift giving.  Others bash them for it – you don’t need to spend all of the time and money and love on ONE day of the year.  How ridiculous!

I say – however you choose to do it – have fun and enjoy it!

There are different stages and phases of life and they all require accommodations to the way we celebrate.  If you have kids, you should totally include them in the fun and the love.  They will have classroom parties, and likely need to make up Valentines for the classroom, perhaps a special mailbox for their delivery.  When our kids were little, we did that, and we also made special Valentine’s evening plans that included a bit of whimsy – perhaps a heart shaped pizza for delivery, or pink pancakes. Oftentimes, we had plans for a more romantic date night later in the week.

When our youngest daughter was in high school we switched things up.  One year I had the idea to skip our fancy date night out and to make a lovely steak dinner at home as a family.  Each of us had a dish to make.  My husband made a side of sauteed onions and mushrooms to accompany the  filet mignon wrapped in bacon.  I made a brie cheese wrapped in a pastry puff shell sprinkled with almond slivers , and our daughter made cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies for dessert.  We enjoyed this one so much, that we repeated it for several years in a row.

I’m about to supply you with 5 simple, yet lovely ideas for an affordable, fully enjoyable Valentine’s Day – but first a simple guideline.

Your Expectations: Lower them.

So often in life, when we are disappointed, it has less to do with the actual action we were let down by and more to do with the anticipation in our own head.

Talk to your partner, know what your expectations are for the day.  Set a plan or let them know that you’d like to be swept off your feet with the whole nine yards – surprise floral delivery at work, heart shaped candy delicacies presented at the door when he picks you up, a full one hour massage certificate.There is nothing wrong with wanting it all – unless he has no idea that’s what you want and you spend the whole evening stewing about it instead of enjoying each other.

If that is not the case for you this year, let him know that, too.  He’ll enjoy the free pass of skipping the disheveled card aisle and the long line at Walgreen’s if he knows all you want is his undivided attention and perhaps a stop by the grocery for some staying-in supplies.

5 Simple Yet Lovely Valentine’s Day Celebrations

No matter what the budget can withstand, here are 5 simple suggestions that we have used over the years…or have plans to use in the future.  You can adapt them if you have kids and busy schedules to accommodate.  You can adopt these to do by yourself or with friends if you should happen to find yourself solo on Valentine’s Day.  There is no right or wrong way – just do it with love and appreciation, and take the time to slow down and enjoy your life.

Wine & Cheese Tray

Select a bottle of wine, pick up a variety of your favorite cheeses and a spread of crackers and breads options to pair up with.  If you have a fireplace, set up a picnic in front of the flames.  If you don’t – just sprinkle some tealight or taper candles around the room.  Throw some pillows and blankets on the floor, turn the t.v. off and the slow jams on.

Whiskey & Poetry

Pour a stiff glass of whiskey, light some candles and make the bed extra comfy and cozy.  Perhaps crank up the heat or use an electric blanket to warm up.  Take turns reading the poetry out loud while slowly sipping on some whiskey.  This may or may not have been inspired by an Edgar Allen Poe find in a Barnes & Noble.

Full Course Dine-In Meal

Plan a menu together, spend an evening cooking in the kitchen together.  Take turns serving one another the different courses – appetizers, main dish, dessert.  Take your time and don’t rush.  Spend the time in the kitchen talking to each other about anything other than the usual – there will be time to discuss work, to-do lists, and kids another time – tonight exchange pleasantries and reminisce about the good times you have had and the things you dream about doing in your future together.

Movie Night In

Pick a romantic comedy – or better yet – a genre that you’ll both like.  Stock the sofa with all the extra pillows and comforters from the bedroom.  It’s all about the snacks and the cuddles, so make the best movie popcorn with just the right amount of salt and melted butter.  Buy each of your favorite movie time candies and perhaps even some fountain drinks from the local convenience store.  Is it me, or does soda just taste better with the good ice when sipped through a straw? Maybe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to share is more your style. Whatever it is, indulge your sweet tooth… and Valentine’s calories don’t count.

Bath Night

Draw a hot bath and linger in it, or if a shower is more to your liking, buddy up and take a long steamy shower together.  Lay out extra towels and lux soaps and lotions.  Take your time and enjoy the night in, thanking yourself for skipping the crowds and staying in to enjoy actual time with one another.

Actionable Step:

Pick one or two of these easy Valentine’s day celebrations.  Honestly, all 5 of these would make perfect winter date nights to round out the winter season.  Hopefully spring will be here before we know it and then we’ll be willing to leave the house for a date night rendezvous, but in the meantime, take ample opportunity to enjoy the time together snuggled up indoors.

I want to hear from you!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans?  What are your best tips and tricks for enjoying Valentine’s Day as a family, single, or a couple?  Leave me a comment below.

Rachelle Magadan