Leading up to Valentine’s Day, I have been working on giving each room a little bit of a romantic aesthetic, just to be festive. And, side note, I love how our bedroom decor is starting to come together! I won’t claim to be an expert on how to celebrate holidays, but I am a huge fan of any day that provides a reason to celebrate love, in its many forms: romantic, friendship, and self care – so I decided to share my thoughts on how to make the most of Valentine’s Day this year.
I know some people consider Valentine’s Day to be a “fake holiday,” and that may be true. But real or fake, if there’s a day wholly dedicated to feeling all the feels, the color pink, and chocolate … I am all in. But I do know that sometimes all the hype about Valentine’s Day, much like New Years Eve, can actually make it way more of a nightmare than the pretty picture I just painted, especially if you think you don’t have a “conventional” reason to celebrate a day dedicated to romance (aka: a significant other). But – and here’s the great news – conventional is boring, love is way more expansive than that, and you don’t even have to do anything typical of Valentine’s day to make it a special day. And I bet you can even avoid the color pink if you really want to. Read below for some of my ideas!
If you’re in a relationship or want to go on a date and get nervous planning a big night on the town for Valentine’s Day because of the crowds or because it often doesn’t live up to the hype (and might not be worth the lofty check), don’t mess with all of that. It seems like a great day to me to do something unconventional, like actually just enjoy each other’s company. Order sushi for takeout, take a long walk outside (bring coffee if it’s cold where you are!), and maybe pick out a personalized gift you know the other person has been wanting – less huge, stuffed bears; more themed movie night baskets (and this is coming from the girl who really wanted a stuffed unicorn for Christmas). Minted has an amazing Valentine’s Day shop ; you can shop via my affiliate link for custom art and photos. I am definitely one of those people who feels let down when a holiday doesn’t meet its bravado – so this year, we’re going to celebrate by picking a recipe out of one of one of our wedding-gift cookbooks and preparing dinner and dessert together. I’ll make sure to have all of the ingredients on hand, and I also plan on making a signature Valentine’s Day drink – I’m still deciding between a strawberry Moscow Mule, pink martini or something with rosé. The thought and preparation that will go into the meal and setting the table all fancy will make the occasion feel special – I’m thinking it will be fun to use our Fine China and nice flatware no matter what we choose to make, even if it’s something more paper-plate quality… like tacos.
If you feel like it, put as much effort into celebrating Valentine’s Day with your friends as you would a date night! Do something fun or fancy or unique, like throwing a themed party! Or just pick out all your favorite snacks and hang out or get together at a restaurant – anything to mark a day of love. Friendships are some of the most important relationships we have, and I think they should occasionally be celebrated formally.
I would love to (and someday I WILL) throw a tea party or something equally antiquated/ formal with friends for Galentine’s Day. Modcloth has the cutest Valentine’s gifts/outfits on sale right now, which are incidentally perfectly vintage – you can shop via my affiliate links. I want to throw tea-party themed events for everything, always. It might seem kind of silly, but I think some of the best get-togethers are a little over the top, and why not celebrate your loves with pretty pastries and the type of party that isn’t an every-weekend occurrence? I also love the “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party that Jessica Biel’s character throws annually in the movie Valentine’s Day. Whether anti or pro Valentine’s Day, festive celebrations with friends are important!
Alternative to skipping V day all together:
If you want to be really low key or would just rather be solo on Valentine’s Day, that’s still great, because self love is the most important kind. Your relationship with you is the one that is guaranteed to last forever. Sometimes I think about activities I’d love to do, but just never actually do them. Valentine’s Day is a good time to change that. It could be something as simple as curating a list of movies to watch all in one sitting, based on mood or another factor. An example of one of my eclectic movie watch lists: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Emperor’s New Groove, Sliding Doors and The Devil Wears Prada (this could be a long night). Or a list tied together by only one element, like 3 or 4 movies that each have Ryan Gosling in them. My curated movies recipe? One movie for nostalgia, a movie you appreciate for one of its aspects (like the outfits or musical score), one that makes you belly-laugh and one that makes you swoon. Foolproof. You could pick up a lovely cup of coffee or some flowers, hit the gym, buy your favorite snack or be spontaneous enough to have a glass of champagne solo at a restaurant (I used to do this at the airport and it is oddly THRILLING). Treat yourself! You can also substitute any of these with something that, without fail, makes you feel good, like baking (not I) or re-reading your favorite book.
I think I grew up loving Valentine’s Day because my dad would always give my sisters and I gifts to make it special for us (he sent me a movie gift card all the way to Hawaii this year!), so I knew the day could be about more than a facade of romance. Yes, you could treat Valentine’s Day like a non-holiday because it’s overtly commercialized, sometimes overrated or seemingly only for couples, but then you’d be missing out on all the potential for loving on the people you care about. (Including you!)