Five Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Writer / Aimee MacArthur
While some may think of Valentine’s Day as a commercial holiday, I see it as a sweet day of celebration. I’ve loved the holiday since I was a kid, decked out in red, heart-shaped jewelry and indulging in plenty of Valentine’s treats. I admit it – I live for a holiday.
Valentine’s Day reminds me that spring and warmer weather isn’t too far away. I get the opportunity to celebrate those who bring joy to my life. It might be my family, friends or even a trusted neighbor. I’ve enjoyed so many kinds of Valentine’s Days over the years – a romantic dinner, an evening out with friends or a night bowling with family. There wasn’t a bad time since I spent it with the people I care about. A beautiful bouquet of flowers and dinner is always a special treat, but celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break your budget. A simple gesture like a thoughtful, handwritten note is always appreciated. Don’t forget the ones you love on this special day. I’ve got a few fun and different ideas for you to celebrate those closest to you. Here are five ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Make a special meal at home: Whether it’s casual or fancy, a home-cooked meal hits the spot and feeds the soul. I believe food always tastes better when someone else does the cooking. I like to make cheese fondue with all the fixings, like slices of apples, carrots, grapes and pieces of warm French bread. A friend of mine and her kids have a pizza night complete with individual heart-shaped pizzas. They also make heart-shaped Rice Krispies treats topped with rainbow sprinkles. My aunt and uncle like to make their day extra special and splurge on Valentine’s Day dinner at home, by enjoying king crab legs dipped in butter with a pair of juicy steaks. A Valentine’s Day meal doesn’t have to be dinner. You can make breakfast for the family. My brother enjoys making heart-shaped banana pancakes for the kids, and bacon cooked in an air fryer. Don’t forget your pets. This year I plan to pick up a cupcake from a dog bakery for my miniature poodle, Louis. I want to make sure everyone in the family feels special, including my dog.
Give sports a shot: What’s more fun than cheering on a sports team? I am a fan of attending a basketball game on Valentine’s Day. I enjoy sitting in the stands, screaming with the other fans and discussing the referee calls with my friends. We even do a little trash talk and make a few friendly wagers. Don’t forget the soda, popcorn and other treats from the concession stand. If basketball isn’t your sport, try attending a hockey game. My cousin and her family are devoted hockey fans, and always cheer on their local hockey team and dine at their favorite pizza restaurant after the game.
Be a good neighbor – pay it forward: One of my neighbors always makes sure to check in with other neighbors, especially an elderly neighbor, and even leaves sweet notes and candy in mailboxes every Valentine’s Day for a handful of us neighbors. I plan to do the same for my neighbors this year. I will leave a note thanking them for being great neighbors, with a bag of Valentine’s treats like conversation hearts, cinnamon candy hearts and chocolate. I also plan to include a small gift card from a local coffee shop. I don’t mind treating my favorite neighbors to candy and coffee.
Grand games: I’m a fan of a game of healthy competition every now and then. I spent previous Valentine’s Days with a group of friends, bowling, playing pool and enjoying a few games of darts. My family and I also like to attend a local trivia game. This year we might visit the golf range, which is open year-round, and work on our swings while we enjoy appetizers and drinks. If you want to play games at home, no worries. I’ve got a great idea for you. My aunt hosts a fun-filled Valentine’s Day game night, and guests feast on my aunt’s famous homemade lasagna and garlic bread while they play games like Bunco, Hearts and Scattergories. If it isn’t too cold outside, guests will venture out in the backyard to play cornhole and horseshoes.
Practically perfect: I’m a fan of practical gifts and I don’t think there’s anything sweeter than taking care of an otherwise mundane or time-consuming errand for a significant other or spouse. Get an oil change for the car, plus a car wash and detailing. Leave a sweet note in the cupholder and arrange for a meal at home or dinner at your favorite restaurant. My friend’s husband arranges for the house to be cleaned on Valentine’s Day, and a day at a spa for his wife. My friend says getting a massage and manicure at a spa and then coming home to a clean house is the greatest Valentine’s Day gift. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. My neighbor’s husband completes a to-do list. He hangs up pictures, steam cleans the carpets and straightens up the garage. It doesn’t cost much, and the hard work and thoughtfulness doesn’t go unnoticed.