Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us: chocolates, hearts, lace, Valentine cards, roses. It can be a budget-buster in a hurry.
I struggle with celebrating Valentine’s, not because of any moral reason, but because February 14 is also my birthday. Going out to eat, having flowers delivered, and chocolates purchased is often cost-prohibitive. It’s hard sharing a birthday with Cupid.
In the weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, flowers, especially roses, increase in price. Restaurants have specials but they are outrageously expensive. For most of us, who are still paying off Christmas, Cupid’s arrow can miss our hearts and put a solid hole in our wallets.
There are ways to declare your undying love while not killing the bank account. It takes some creativity, and possibly a glue stick, but it can be done.
- The Old-Fashioned Love Letter. Once upon a time, there was no such thing as “texting.” One actually wrote a letter for his intended on paper. With a pen. He folded it neatly, and put something called a stamp on the envelope and placed it in a mailbox that had nothing to do with electronic devices. As someone whose love language is solidly words of affirmation, a letter written to me from my husband means everything. It’s not just the words or the paper – it’s the fact he took the time to think about me, and how he felt about me. That’s some good stuff right there.
- Make Dinner. Most Sundays, we come home from church and my husband cooks lunch. I love Sundays for many reasons, and this is one of them. I can sit on a bar stool and talk with him as he prepares lunch, or relax on the recliner with a magazine. Making my favorite dinner while allowing me to relax and enjoy that time with him on Valentine’s Day would be amazing.
- Enable Nap Time. Another reason I love Sundays is my Sunday Afternoon Nap. Yes, Sunday Afternoon Nap is so important that it requires the first letter of each word to be capitalized. For my husband to take the kids off somewhere and enable me to have a Saturday Afternoon Nap, for Valentine’s is on Saturday, would be all-capital letters, in bold and italic INCREDIBLE.
- Make Cards. When my kids make me cards, decorated as they see fit, with glue sticks, crayons and, yes, the required glued-on paper lace doily for Valentine’s Day, it means something. It almost means more to me when my 17-year-old son makes me a card than my four-year-old daughter, because of the rarity of the act. My daughter will make a card to celebrate the fact that it is Tuesday.
- Rent a Movie. Snuggled up on the sofa under blankets, sipping hot cocoa and munching on popcorn, watching a movie of my choosing – that would be heaven on earth.
- Family Walk. Going for a family walk, just around the neighborhood, gets us out of our comfort zones and allows us to talk freely, or giggle, or joke around. This could also be a bike ride providing there’s no snow on the ground, but if there is snow…bring out the sleds! Doing something active as a family, that’s fun – that would be a great Valentine’s Day activity.
- Acts of Service. Does your husband like a clean car? Ask him for the keys and get it washed and cleaned, inside and out. Ask him if he has any projects in which you can provide a helping hand.
- Fun Activities. Give your husband a gift certificate to a driving range, then go along with him, or go bowling. Shoot some hoops, or take a long walk together – making sure you hold hands.
Valentine’s Day or birthdays in general do not have to be budget-busters. The main thing on Valentine’s – or any other day for that matter – is to acknowledge that you love your spouse, your kids, and others that mean something to you, especially Jesus, who is love. Those things don’t cost any money at all.
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