For a certain percentage of the population, Valentine’s Day is a superfluous, consumerist, embarrassing, and mildly offensive capitalist creation that promotes the fallacious conflation of love and expensive gifts. But those people are wrong. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether any of the rest applies is up to you.
What is not up for debate is the fact that many people find the holiday quite meaningful and necessary. Not everyone is gifted with the ability to express deep emotions. Yet as social animals that form family units, such expressions are important. For some women, Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year they receive and overt expression of love and affection. For them, it really matters. Here are some tips for making that day a bit more special, and a lot more affordable:
Get a Card
If you can’t say, “I love you” in a creative and meaningful way, pay someone else to say it. There is no shame in that. It is like hiring an interpreter. Not everyone is a poet who can wring a gallon of emotion out of a pint of words. Even the most expensive card is inexpensive. So don’t cheap out. This is important.
Furthermore, a Valentine’s Day card doesn’t have to be generic and boring. These days, Valentine’s Day eCards are just as acceptable. People receive all their important communications on smartphones, iPads, and computers. Why not their expressions of love? The template possibilities are endless. In addition, you can use their favorite fictional character to send them a special message.
Throw a Party
What is a party if not friends getting together with music, decorations, a little food, and a good time for all? None of those things have to be expensive. Food can be as simple as a box of club crackers and a centerpiece of cheese whiz. You don’t even have to feel obligated to provide all the music. Everyone carries a portable device with all of their favorite music. There are plenty of ways to patch it into your sound system regardless of what device they use.
Decorations are arguably the most fun part of throwing a party. Even if you shop at the notoriously expensive, Party City, you can still save money just by using Google to do a coupon search. You can even do it at the register and save immediately. There are not many better ways to tell someone you love them than to throw a party in their honor.
Make a Weekend of It
The weekends are perfect for short getaways. No matter where you live, you are probably not more than a few hours from being some place nice to visit. You don’t need to spend money on airfare. You also don’t need to spring for a four-star hotel or restaurant.
Why not spend a day or two walking a botanical garden, visiting the zoo, and taking in a baseball game? None of these things are expensive. They are all a lot of fun. And even the baseball game is not without a certain romance. It doesn’t matter what day the official holiday actually falls upon. Declare the closest weekend the Valentine’s Day season. And make a real holiday of it.
When it comes to creating a special day for someone, a little planning goes a long way. Whether it is finding just the right card, finding a convenient time to gather a few friends, or planning a weekend getaway, you should start now. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.