I'm not anti-Valentine's Day. I actually love it, all the pinks and reds and lace. But you wouldn't know it. Valentine's Day is like the one big holiday that always sneaks up on me, I turn around and it's just there, leaving me no time to come up with something creative for my one true love. Not that he minds..my boyfriend's family owns a florist shop and needless to say Valentine's Day is the biggest day of the year for them (Mother's Day is a close second). The final two weeks before Valentine's is major crunch time and my boyfriend works all the time so we kind of have to fit some "us" time in just whereever we can.
These types of situations have caused me to have to come up with so many cheap and easy ways to "creatively" say I love him. So I thought (just in time for the V-Day procrasinators like myself) that I would share some ideas with you for some inexpensive dates and some one of a kind "I love you" moments.
(click the + for the source of the images below each one)
Give them the key to your heart. I found an old skeleton key that used to unlock the old farmhouse my grandmother grew up in. I tied a ribbon around it and placed it inside a box that I had painted black (very manly) and decorated with some chipboard lettering of his initials. On the inside of the lid to the box I wrote, "You can have the key to my heart." I gave it to him as a gift and he absolutely loved it. He has worn it on his key ring everyday since (without the ribbon of course).
Leave them a hidden message. If your sweetheart reads books really often, this is a good one. Sneak away the book they are currently reading and underline letters (or words) that when put together will spell out a message such as "Thank you for being a part of my life" or even just "I love you." This one takes careful planning though, because you don't want them reading those few pages to early or too late for V-day!
Give them a Romantic Comedy Movie. Make a video of yourself to give to them as a gift. Tell them how much you love them and what they mean to you, list reasons why you love them, or tell stories of memories you have shared. Make something you say be serious and make some of them funny. If you are too shy to talk on camera make a slideshow of pictures that tell the story of your relationship, put it to some music and burn it to a DVD.
Go on a winter picnic. In some places it is too cold to go on a picnic for Valentine's Day. So have your picnic inside. My boyfriend and I did this together once and it was a lot of fun. We cooked dinner together (which was a better meal than the snacks that come along for most picnics) and layed a blanket and place settings out in the living room floor. When we finished eating we cleared the blanket of our meal and watched a movie. It a nice change from the regular stay-in-and-watch-a-movie-nights.
Take a trip to remember your firsts. I actually saw this one on a commercial for Kay Jewelers. The guy takes the girl around to all the places where events occured such as their "first kiss" and "first date" and so on. He finally brings her to a park bench and when she says, "I don't remember this one..." he gets down on one knee and says, "You will." Now I'm sure not everyone is on the verge of an engagement but what a nice date it would be to take the time to go back and visit all the places where big events in your relationship occured.
Make them a card. I have a tradition that for every birthday and Valentine's Day I give my boyfriend a card that was made by me. They are often cheesey and covered in hearts and magazine clipped letters but I usually try to include a picture of the two of us or some type of collage. It's a really small something to give but he has kept every one of them and we enjoy going back and looking through them together.
Leave them a suprise from above. If you have access to your sweetheart's car and can find a time to sneak away without them knowing, this suprise is really easy. Write a love note on a post-it (even if your poetic words only say, "I Love You" it still works) and stick it to the sun visor of your sweetheart's car so that when it's pulled down the message can be seen. Tuck some rose petals (real or fake, either way gets the job done) between the sun visor and the roof so that they will fall out when the visor is pulled down. This one takes some careful timing because you don't want your sweetheart to be driving while doing this. Perhaps send them out to the car while they are still home or try to catch them just before they leave home or arrive at work (for instance). Tell them you think you left an important note in the sun visor of their car, when they pull it down to find the note for you, they will see the real note and it will be a nice suprise.
Give them a burst of love. Last year for Valentine's, my boyfriend and I decided to not really go in depth with our gifts, just a little $10 something to say I love you was all we cared about. So I bought him a 6-pack of bottles of his favorite soda (it's called Ale8 and it is Kentucky made, I was so suprised when I met someone from Georgia that had never heard of it before, I guess it's just a regional thing). On each glass bottle I tied a balloon that was filled with a message. I just went to a store in my hometown that has helium filled ballons and asked them if I could drop a note inside of each one before they blew it up (they were skeptical but we did a test run and it worked!). To read the messages he had to pop each of the balloons. The notes I wrote had reasons for why I love him, "Happy Valentine's Day 2009" and "Love, Jess" and were folded several times. You could also do this with non-helium filled balloons and maybe even leave some of them empty so it's like a treasure hunt.
Have a photoshoot. If you can get your sweetheart to dress up in some really fun attire and you pretend to be their photographer, it can be a lot of fun. Dress silly or dress nice, just make it fun. Afterwards, you can get the good photos printed and you have a lot of memories to keep with you. If you have a self-timer or a remote for your camera, make sure you get in the photos too but make sure the photoshoot is focused on your sweetheart and making them feel good about themselves all while having fun.