Egad! I’m really about to do this. (And did I really just used an expression that is as archaic as I feel lately?) The answer is, yes. I’m about to end my push to write mushy Valentine’s cards and create something truly magical this year and by wooing those you love in a different manner. (But if you do want to write a mushy Valentine to go along with an inexpensive night, that’s not a bad idea either. Click here for some suggestions). If you’re struggling for that perfect Valentine, rest assured. Your Valentine is really just hoping that the special day gets to be spent doing something together. That’s what makes the memory, not an expensive gift.
But if you’re sitting here at a dead stop and can’t even muster up the creativity to figure this Valentine thing out, there is plenty of magic you can do that costs very little. Here are Steph’s Scribe’s inexpensive suggestions that will make memories and not burn a hole in your pocket on February 14.
- Bundle up and take an evening stroll in your local town or city. For example, we live right outside of Annapolis, Maryland, and there isn’t anything more romantic than walking the streets arm in arm as the city goes from dusk to dark and the lights illuminate the water. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea and chocolate-covered biscotti and sit in the window of a coffee shop. Put away your cellular devices (or if possible, just leave them at home) and enjoy an old-fashioned, uninterrupted conversation with the person you love.
- Set up a carpet picnic. For those of us on the East Coast who have just endured a tremendous amount of snow and are expected to see temperatures below 10 degrees this weekend, a little carpet picnic can be lots of fun. Spread out your favorite blanket and prepare a little basket full of goodies, from petite sandwiches to fruits, cheeses, and nuts, along with a decadent (but inexpensive) brownie mix, can set the mood for a sweet time together.
- Dig out some old CDs or records and reminisce as you merge music with a new trend: coloring for adults. Take advantage of this hot trend and pour a glass of wine and color as you relax with the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, or John Coltrane playing in the background. When you’re done coloring your masterpiece, date your artwork and put it in your scrapbook as a Valentine memory.
- Host a small gathering of friends and ask each friend to bring one dish for a potluck Valentine celebrate. Leave the video games behind and play a board game, Pictionary, or Charades. My friends and I have been playing a game of Charades that is so fun, it became a standard we played at all of our gatherings. This particular brand of Charades has left us with memories which we recall fondly. To have your group play, give each player three slips of paper. Have each player write the name of three famous people on each–people the group would all know from history or from today. Split into two teams [we like to play boys vs. girls]. Get a timer and set it for 60 seconds. Place all names in a hat or basket. You will play three rounds alternating turns; as each 60-seconds runs out, keep track of how many names that team got right and score the points. The first round is Charades with speech: you can talk and act things out to get your team to guess your person. When you have gone through all the names on the paper as each team has taken turns, that ends that round. Put the names back in the basket and mix them up. Using those same names, you are ready for round two. For the second round, no talking is allowed, and players must take turns acting out the clues of who the person is. When all the names have been acted out and there are none left, you are ready for the final round. Place all the papers back in the basket and shuffle. The third round is a bit more challenging. Players must get their team to guess the name on the paper by only saying one word to describe that person. Players are not allowed to act anything out, but only to say one word. The group at the end of round three with the most points wins. Trust me when I tell you this game is a ton of fun, costs nothing, and is only as good as the names of people you write on the piece of paper. If you have less people, I suggest putting five names on five slips of paper to make it more challenging. We have a ton of fun with it.
- Make it black and white. This one’s easy. Order up an old black and white romantic comedy (or check it out of your local library) and curl up with a bowl of popcorn and a warm blanket. Sit back and enjoy the film. Some of the old black and white films are still classics today, and it’s a chance to walk down Memory Lane–or to see what Memory Lane must have been like–during your parents, grandparents, or for some of you, even your great-grandparents time.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s all about that old saying: it’s not what you do, but rather with whom you do it.
Wishing you all a love-filled Valentine’s Day, from us to you.