If you all are anything like us, Valentine’s Day is a built up holiday that usually ends in us scrambling for gifts, cards and a last minute plan to eat out at a restaurant on a different night around the day so it will be less busy – so romantic <insert eye roll>.
When I was in 6th grade, I was at my great-grandpa’s funeral on the school day when all the Valentine’s Day festivities were being celebrated. Later that night, there was a knock on the door and my boyfriend Keith and his mom were standing there with the biggest I love you heart balloon I’ve ever seen. I, of course, was mortified at this display of affection in front of my parents and Keith looked the exact same way (obviously his mom didn’t want the giant balloon to go to waste and forced him to come over and give it to me).So what is it about this holiday that makes us feel forced to buy giant balloons for the ones we love (I can actually hear a commentary in my head from my hubby about marketing and consumerism)? Regardless of the cultural pressure, I believe it’s best to follow one simple rule: do SOMETHING. It doesn’t have to involve skywriting a declaration of your love or be grandiose in any way. It does have to be thoughtful, personal, and something you went out of your way to do. Here are a few ideas I came up with…Before you scoff at the most obvious of all V-Day gifts, hear me out. Every American girl (sing it, Tom Petty) has been brainwashed to say that they don’t like flowers, that they are a waste of money, and that they eventually die anyway. We say these things because we have low expectations that you boys will actually ever get us flowers, so then we never have to be disappointed. Ben returned from the Fresh Market the other day with these beautiful orange Gerber daisies in hand – love him! My advice, think outside the box and go with something different than the standard red rose.Some of my favorite gifts ever received have been ones that cost little money and required lots of thought. Ben once made me a construction paper book where he used crayons to draw stick people pictures of our story together (we were engaged 3 months later – enough said!). Another time, he bought a small wooden jewelry box and printed off black and white pics of us that he taped inside – so simple! This last Christmas, he got a picture frame from Target and dug up three of his favorite pics of us together to put in the frame.Another cool idea is to go to Etsy.com, click on the Gift Ideas link, click Choose a Facebook friend, and get a gift list based on your lady’s FB profile interests. So put those thinking caps on guys! Whatever you do, do NOT pick up something generic from Walgreens at the last minute on your way home from work. Remember, thought + time = a very happy lady that will want to make-out with you like bunnies.
So what do all of us non-single ladies (sorry, Beyoncé) do for our man on V-Day? Many times over the years I’ve made the mistake of doing mushy type things for Ben that I would like him to do for me, which usually goes over about as well as a giant balloon.
He would much rather us do something fun together than get a pink dress shirt from Target. For example, one year I bought us tickets to a John Mayer concert that happened to be in February and he loved it! If your budget is smaller, what about a bowling night, laser tag with a group of your friends, or tickets to a local sporting event.
If you really want to get him someTHING, make sure it’s fun. I once got Ben a flask with his initials engraved on the outside from one of those stores in the mall. He thought it was a very cool gift and still uses it to sneak alcohol into movie theaters today (jk). The road trip map below from Etsy marks the places you’ve traveled together with hearts – ok, borderline mushy but still creative!So what does all this V-Day talk have to do with staging you may be asking yourself? Not a darn thing. Can’t a girl blog about what’s on her mind every once in awhile (hence the “Outside the Box” category)? What creative ideas do you have up your sleeve for your significant other? Any V-Day gifts that were a hit, or ones that were a total miss? What makes those little candy hearts so addictive?