It’s that time of year again. Pink and red are inescapable (and have been since late December - I mean, seriously?!) For many, February 14th can be stressful. If you don’t have a significant other, the pressure to find that special someone mounts as the day of love approaches. And if you’ve already met someone, the pressure to show them how much you care can make Valentine’s Day feel more like a competition than a day of romance.
But underneath the commercialism and keeping-up-with-the-Joneses approach is a genuinely beautiful concept. The human race has decided that love is important enough to get its own day. In keeping with the true meaning of Valentine’s Day, here are some suggestions that will help you stay focused on what really matters.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Instead of (or maybe in addition to?) buying your significant other flowers and chocolate, take a moment to consider what is really important to them. Which gesture from you would mean the most? Do they always clean the house? Cook the meals? You should set aside the time to clean the house and make their favorite meal for them. When they come home at the end of a long day to a surprise like that, they are sure to know how much you care.
Or perhaps there is an activity they love but rarely have time for such as swimming, hiking, or even just reading a good book by the fire. Arrange an excursion or buy the latest book by their favorite author and pair it with a good wine, then set up a reading nook and clear some time for them to just relax and enjoy. There are many ways to let your actions proclaim your love.
A Gift From the Heart is the Best Gift of All
If you are on a budget (or even if you are not) you can still show your love how much they mean to you with a handmade gift. This will need some forethought, but it will be worth it. Take inventory of your talents. Do you love to paint? Are you great with a camera? Do you write stories in your own time? With your loved one in mind, plan a piece of art inspired by them. A gift that you know another person invested their time, love and attention in is worth more than an expensive gift that doesn’t show much thought or care.
A Handmade Card Says “I Love You”
Have you ever walked the card aisle at your local store right before Valentine’s Day? Who am I kidding? Of course you have. It’s filled with last-minute shoppers (like yourself) searching for just the right card to express how they feel. The problem is that these cards were all written by NOT YOU. Some are snarky, some are trying too hard to be funny, and some are sickly sweet. Occasionally you can find a diamond in the rough, but usually you end up settling for something not quite right.
Instead, consider making your own card. A quick Google search will find you more homemade styles than you can count. Just pick one that you think your significant other will love (and that is in your skill set to make) and get started.
On the inside of the card, write a message from the heart. You might even try your hand at a poem. But even if you are not poetically inclined, you can still bust out your favorite gel pens and write down how you really feel. Don’t be surprised if you see some misty eyes when your message is read.
So this Valentine’s Day, don’t let yourself be roped into the commercialism and competition. Remember what it’s all about and show your loved ones how you truly feel.