Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Take Care of Your Sweetheart

Roses are RedImage by Keith Barlow via Flickr

What to say about Valentine's Day? It feels like it's impossible to get it right. Either the gift you get is too much, or too little, too serious, or too playful. The problem is that you're not just giving a gift to your significant other; in order to be successful you have to give them what they would give themselves.

Disclaimer: TAiMH is not a dating website is not liable for any slapped faces or botched marriage proposals.

So, how to do Valentine's Day on a budget? First of all if you're going to splurge, this is not a bad time to do it. I know that's not what you expect to see here, but let's be honest, everyone wants to be treated well. That being said, some of the nicest, most heartfelt moments are the ones that don't cost a penny.

Out on the Town

This year Valentine's Day is on a Saturday, which means that you have the entire day at your disposal. Go out to lunch instead of dinner, go for a long walk in the afternoon, or cuddle up on the couch with some cheesy movies and a bottle of wine.

If the two of you don't get out much, going to a show (concert, play, dance performance, etc.) can be a lot of fun, but a lot of events can be really expensive so think smaller. Community plays, or local bands, are a great, affordable way to have fun and support your community. Or—if you want to send the signal that you'd like to see more of someone, signing up for dance lessons together can be a lot of fun and the cost is spread out over time.

Heart-Shaped Box

If your lover likes sweets make them something yourself. Chocolate dipped strawberries are incredibly easy to make at home, all you need are strawberries, chocolate chips, and a microwave. Even better, make them together; you might need someone to lick that extra chocolate off your fingers.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...

How well tuned is your partner's bullshit meter? If they're not likely to laugh at you and you've got a passing understanding of the English language, writing them a poem, or if you're musical, a song can be a sweet romantic gesture.

Diamonds (even old ones) are a Girl's Best Friend

If you want to get out the big guns, there are two kinds of gifts that will make a big impression, both of which are as close to free as great gifts come. First, things you owned as a child. Guys, do you have a childhood teddy bear hanging out in an attic somewhere? That's all I have to say about that. Second, and this can get dicey depending on how crazy your family is, heirlooms. A pair of your grandfather's cufflinks or a grandmother's broach can have much more meaning and sentimentality than something shiny and new. Just be sure to wrap it up in a nice box, and get them professionally cleaned if need be. Almost any jewelry story will clean something for you, some have a nominal fee, but a lot of the time it's free. Don't limit yourself to jewelry—
depending on your significant other, a well-loved cardigan or any cherished item can be a hit.

Remember to have fun and most importantly enjoy whomever you're with, partner, lover, or friend. Happy Valentine's Day!

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