February 11, 2019


I’m not a big fan of obligatory gift giving at holiday times.  Getting something because a certain date pops up on a calendar has always felt a bit hollow for me.  I’ve always preferred spontaneous gestures on random days, just because.  It’s a different kind of special feeling when your partner isn’t expecting anything, and you surprise them; HOWEVER…

…if you have a more conventional nature and like to mark Valentine’s Day, you can still give the day a personal twist and make the things you give really meaningful and memorable.

  1. No guessing! Don’t just make a quick guess at what your honey might like and hope it’s a hit. Take a careful look at their lives and notice what makes them truly and deeply happy.  Think back to a time when they seemed happiest and ask yourself what they were doing in those times.  Some people love to cook and are extremely happy in the kitchen.  If that’s it, then go to a cooking class together and share that passion with them.  If they enjoy being outdoors, then find something really unique to do outside – perhaps book a dog sled tour or go on a moonlight cross country ski (one of the most romantic things I have ever done).
  1. It’s not only about the ladies! Don’t think that Valentine’s day is a one-way affair.  Often the guy is expected to come up with something for the special woman in his life, but affection and appreciation go both ways.  Treat him as special as you’d like him to treat you.  Think about what makes him really happy.  Some guys enjoy beer and it’s fun to build a bucket of 25 different craft beers for tasting.  You can often get single specialty beers at the liquor store and putting together a taster’s collection will be warmly welcomed.
  1. Stay clear of cliché gifts. That dozen roses is a 20-years-ago gift, and chocolates are at least a decade ago. And reminiscent of those school-aged parties where you decorated a shoebox, and everyone dropped cards and treats into their classmate’s boxes. Also, ask yourself if your love really wants another stuffed animal. Even if it is red. Leave that to the kids. Instead, plan an activity that you can do together and have fun doing it.  Like an escape room with some other couples. Or check out a comedy show together or try the theatre. Building memories and laughing together is priceless.
  1. Don’t make dinner the main course. Going out for dinner also hits high on my same-old, same-old list. While a special restaurant can be romantic, let’s face it: eating is an everyday thing.  If dinner is in your plan, partner it with a brewery, winery or distillery tour (you’re bound to have one of them in your city).  Or an interactive dinner theater. It also pairs perfectly with a couples cooking class.
  1. Give from your heart. What does your partner love most? You! If you have a special skill or hobby, why not give your honey something truly from your heart(or hands)? Something you put time and love into, that could only be from you. A painting, a wood carving, or write a letter to them and tell them what they mean to you (I don’t mean signing a card from Hallmark – I mean a full page of what is in your heart).  Maybe you garden and your honey cooks. How about planting an indoor herb garden?

You can make Valentine’s Day as special as what the two of you share if you put your heart into it. Trust me, your partner wants your heart much more than a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

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