For cupid’s sake, make your Valentine’s Day card from scratch
Anyone with five bucks and half a brain can go to the corner store and buy a card. And while giving your valentine a store-bought card is certainly a more thoughtful gesture than not giving a card at all, hand-crafted is definitely the way to go. Hallmark might do a better job of crafting cliche, lovey-dovey Valentine’s prose, but you can certainly do a better job of sharing sentiments (and inside jokes) that only your loved one will fully understand and (ideally) enjoy.
- Go old school – I’m talkin’ construction paper, glue sticks, glitter, etc. (Just be careful with the scissors.)
- Go digital – Bust out the Photoshop (or other design program) and create a card. Better yet, create an infographic that provides a visual representation of how much you love your valentine.
It ain’t about the money, honey: play to your strengths
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be Spend-All-Your-Savings-on-Jewelry-and-Flowers-and-Other-Crap Day. Instead, it can be a day when you show off your skills and give a gift that you’ve created with your own blood, sweat, and beers. Or tears. (Tears optional, beers recommended.)
- Musician? Write a song about how and when you first met your significant other.
- Chef? Whisk your valentine away to Paris with a romantic, home-cooked French dinner. (Bon appetit!)
- Accountant? Ummm, I’ll get back to you.
Give the gift of an amazing memory
Not something that will be kept in a jewelery box, tucked away in a drawer, or thrown away (e.g. flowers). An amazing memory can last a lifetime (and yes, I’m aware that sounds incredibly lame and Hallmark-y). But think about it: If, hypothetically, you’re a dude who gives your girlfriend chocolate and flowers for Valentine’s Day, how unremarkable is that? Years later, will your girlfriend say, “Hey, remember that Valentine’s Day…when you gave me chocolate and flowers? How awesome was that!”? Answer: No, she will not. So instead, think about crafting a moment that you can both revisit years later.
- “Remember that Valentine’s Day…when we drank hot cocoa inside the snow fort you built for me?!”
- “Remember that Valentine’s Day…when you took me to the aquarium and that penguin kissed me?!”
- “Remember that Valentine’s Day…when you took me up to the roof of that building and we had a picnic and watched the stars?!”