Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers, but some might feel Cupid’s arrow hitting you in the wallet instead of the heart. Just remember that it is not about money; you can stay on budget while showing your true love how much you care.
Food is love. Spread a quilt in front of the fireplace (or the woodstove) and set up a picnic for two. What better day to bring out the good china? Present your meal as the five star restaurants do – which means, very little food on a very pretty plate. Five jumbo shrimp, a mound of fettuccini covered with marinara (use a coupon to buy that fancy jar of sauce you have always wanted to try), and three or four perfectly steamed stalks of asparagus will be easy on the eyes and the pocketbook.
Sweet things. Dessert can be simple but stunning. Dip a half-dozen extra-large strawberries in melted semi-sweet morsels, or cube pound cake and serve with chocolate fondue. Granny Smith apple slices with a dollop of Nutella can cleanse the palate. Chocolate rules on Valentine’s Day, so even a few kiss-shaped candies on a plate can speak volumes.
The rhythm of love. Collect favorite songs and play them as background music. Include music that has meaning to both of you – don’t forget your own special song. Burn a CD and create a unique label as a memento for your loved one. If you are a musician, compose a simple song to play after dinner. Roll up the sheet music, tie with a bow, and present as a gift.
Petals from heaven. Don’t go to the florist; you can find great bargains in the supermarket. But take them out of that cellophane bag and get creative. One perfect rose and a sprig of baby’s breath can look gorgeous in a slender vase. Or group single blooms in a mishmash of holders that have a common color scheme. Better yet, place vases in different spots for your loved one to find throughout the day.
Spell it out. Write a letter instead of giving a store-bought card. Pen your thoughts about your special someone, or try your hand at poetry. Grab the soap and leave a note on the bathroom mirror. One man emptied out the ashes from the woodstove and scattered them on the snow in the shape of a heart, and added a few Xs and Os for his wife to see as she looked out the window.