Inexpensive Ideas for Valentine’s Day

by David Sung

Valentine’s Day to many Americans today means romantic dinner dates, fancy chocolates, and fluffy stuffed animals.  However, this day dates back to medieval times when Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.  During his imprisonment, Saint Valentine is said to have had healed his jailer’s daughter.  Before he died, he wrote her a letter and signed it “from your Valentine” as his final farewell.  Eventually, this day became associated with romantic love and in 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for one another by exchanging gifts and cards.

The modern Valentine’s Day has evolved into an elaborate display of showering your loved ones with gifts, and the good news is that it doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. Below is a list of inexpensive, yet thoughtful gift ideas for this special day.

1.      E-Valentines

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million Valentines are sent via the post office each year.  In 2010, about 15 million e-Valentines were sent.  E-Valentines can be customized in a multitude of ways and they range from humorous to romantic.  These are a perfect way to reach out to anyone on your Valentine’s list and let them know you are thinking about them on this day.

2.      A Park, a Blanket and a Glass of Wine

This date idea is simple, yet meaningful.  Take a trip out to your local park with a soft, cozy blanket and find a shady spot under a welcoming tree.  Visit a specialty grocery store that has a wine section, and ask a specialist about an inexpensive bottle with the best taste.  Then, pair the wine with a cheese you’ve never tried before.  If you buy a block of cheese, take it to the deli counter and ask them to slice it for you for free.  Don’t forget the wine opener!

3.      Massage for Two

Massages are something that everyone can appreciate, as they are relaxing and detoxifying. Websites such as Groupon and Living Social offer substantial discounts on massages. If a massage isn’t your thing, then there are many other deals appearing everyday on the websites that you can consider.

4.      Chocolate

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of chocolate, the classic Valentine’s Day gift.  This year, try something a little bit different. A site called Chocomize allows you to completely customize your chocolate creation.  Begin by choosing the shape of the bar (it even comes in a heart shape), the type of chocolate, and then finally your toppings.  Stay conservative with some almonds, strawberries or toffee.  Or mix it up and get adventurous with a little lavender, cardamom, Himalayan sea salt or dried lemon peel.  The possibilities are endless!

If you’re single on this day, don’t feel left out. There are many activities including singles events, volunteering, gathering with friends and family, and of course, feel free to indulge in yourself and give yourself a special treat!

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