Valentines Day Ideas
Rick and I have been married for almost 17 years. Of course, when you first get married you are so excited for Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be one of those really special days because you finally have a guaranteed “boyfriend” that you are sure is going to make this holiday special.
Our first one I was so sick because of pregnancy that I couldn’t eat and just wanted to sleep. Then our second and third one we were traveling in Arizona and bad weather through Idaho. For a few years we enjoyed activities that the State provided with speakers, dancing and dinner. We loved it, but then those stopped.
We had never tried the traditional going out to dinner on Valentine’s so we decided we would give it a try. We got a babysitter and headed out for our nice evening. We didn’t have anything planned so we headed to a restaurant. It was sooo packed that we decided to go do an activity. The lines were so long for activities that we decided to go try another restaurant. Our date went from 5 p.m. – almost midnight and all we ended up really accomplishing is a really late, unenjoyable dinner and nothing else.
At that point I decided it was time to figure something else out so that we could make good memories and really enjoy Valentine’s Day.A friend of mine once told me that she celebrated with her children at home. I loved the idea so we have decided to make Valentine’s Special for the whole family. Here is what we do and have done for over 10 years and it has made the best memories:
· Do Roast or Steak and a very special dinner
· Put a Valentine’s Tablecloth, Fun Valentine’s dishes (might be paper for ease of clean up) and even sometimes the fun straws to go with the drink
· Tie balloons on each of the chairs to add to the festivities
· Put special treats by each of the place settings (sometimes in a basket, on their plate, etc)
· Serve a special dessert – usually cheesecake from Costco
· Have some special gift for everyone. This completely depends on how things are financially for us. Sometimes it is a book or something really simple. Other times we have been able to get NBA Jazz tickets for a future game for $10, jersey’s for our children, family game to play that evening, etc.
· Plan a movie or some family game to play together after dinner
· This doesn’t take very much money or time and everyone loves it. In fact, usually the kids will scatter and go do their own thing early in the evening and then Rick and I can watch a movie or just enjoy some quiet time.
· Then Rick and I plan a special date night a week before or a week after Valentine’s and everyone is happy and the time together becomes valuable instead of wasted and frustrating.
Valentines Day Gift Ideas for
1. School Teachers:
Have you ever been in a teacher’s classroom for Valentine’s? They get an abundance of candy for Valentines. Instead of candy you can give them dried fruit, trail mix or even take lunch into them. I personally like to give teachers classroom supplies. You figure they have made it half way through the year and it’s a great time to give their supplies a jump start for the rest of the school year. You can give things like:
b. Hand Sanitizer
c. Lysol Wipes
d. Dry Erase Markers
2. Classroom Valentines:
The boxed sets for valentines with the candy is a great idea and a very easy way to do valentines, but there are other options:
a. Krispy Kreme: Over the years Krispy Kreme has sold valentines that the students can bring in for a donut. It works nice because it isn’t a treat they have to eat before it goes bad. (haven’t checked for this year)
b. Chuck E Cheese: Over the years on their website they have had where you can print off valentines which gives the kids the opportunity to go in and redeem for tokens. (haven’t checked for this year)
c. Book Marks
e. Glow Sticks
i. Quarter – kids love any money
j. Water bottle with drink flavor
k. Bag of chips
l. Bouncy Balls
m. Jelly Bracelets
n. Card games (small sets)
o. Microwave popcorn bags (you can get the smaller ones)
p. Granola Bars
3. Gifts for Grandparent’s:
Often times grandparent’s like a small treat, but they can end up with too many treats quickly. The other thing is many grandparent’s don’t need more stuff so give them something personal or can be used. Some of the things you can give grandparent’s are:
a. Fun picture with a magnet on the back for their fridge (can do a fun valentine background or frame)
b. Personal note from the children
c. A gift card to a restaurant – doesn’t have to be something expensive (Could be Arby’s, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, etc)
d. A blanket
e. Lotion – it’s the time of year with dry skin
f. Trail Mix
g. Dried Fruit
4. Gifts for your loved one:
There are the things that everyone thinks are necessary or the “favorites” for Valentines like chocolates, flowers, jewelry, etc. but there are many other things that you can give a loved one and some don’t take money :
a. A Letter: Write a letter of things that you love about your spouse or loved one
b. Start making history: You could start a tradition and creating a history of your life together. You could write a year at a glance letter looking over the past year of things that you have done together as a family or just you and your loved one. If you start now and do this each year for Valentine’s you can create a history that you will cherish over the years.
c. Dinner at home: Maybe you don’t have the money to go out to eat or don’t want to go out in the craziness of Valentine’s so you can do a dinner at home. If you don’t want to prepare the meal you can do take out. If you have children you can find a babysitter that would have your children come over to their house.
d. Look for special Valentine events in your community: Is the high school in your community doing a play and dinner? Maybe there is a well-known speaker or musician that is providing a Valentine’s event. If you want to go out on Valentine’s it is a good idea to purchase tickets ahead of time that ensures you have something to do. Hoping to show up and do something doesn’t always work.
e. Clean house: Sometimes the things that mean the most don’t come with money attached. You can clean a room, do the dishes, catch up the laundry, etc. This can mean a lot.
f. 14 days of Valentines: You can do a valentine each day with something that you love about the special person in your life. It could be attached with a little treat or something small that they would like.
5. Another thing that makes Valentines special:
My boys are a part of 26 cousins on my side of the family. We plan the Sunday before Valentine’s to come together and celebrate together. My mom gets white lunch bags with some stickers and the kids get to decorate bags. They can put their name, hearts, etc on their bags. Then each of the cousins bring some valentine for each other. They walk around the kitchen table dropping valentines in each of the bags. By the time they are all done their bags are full and they all have ended up with valentines (works great for the teenagers and the little ones who don’t get to do anything else for Valentine’s). It is a wonderful tradition that we have done for years that the kids love. The families generally bring gifts for Grandma and Grandpa too.
6. A tip for the future:
A great time to buy some of these things is at Halloween. So many of these things are sold in bulk and even sometimes on clearance after Halloween. The other tip is buy after Christmas. It might seem like a weird holiday to buy on clearance, but once you buy something that is red / white you can take it out of the packaging and it looks like it was meant for Valetines.