Like Inauguration Day and the Big Game, Valentine’s Day will be a little different this year. Last year – if you were part of a couple, of course – you may have whisked yourselves away for a romantic weekend or enjoyed a romantic meal at an uptown restaurant. This year, as we continue to observe restrictions and protocols to stay safe, we may not be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day as we’d like. However, all is not lost! If you’re stuck at home and struggling for inspiration, here are six suggestions for making February 14th special, whether you’re head-over-heels or happily single.
Give the gift of “me time”
Couples living in lockdown may feel they’ve spent enough time in each other’s company over the past year. When everything from sharing a work desk to homeschooling puts pressure on your time and space, the best Valentine’s gift may in fact be some “me time,” so how about gifting your partner an evening to themselves? Make them dinner, pour them a glass of wine (or crack open a craft beer) and give them a hall pass for an evening to watch The Queen’s Gambit. Then they can return the favor.
Book a table for two
If you do want to celebrate Valentine’s Day together, make it special. You may not be able to go out for a romantic meal – or feel comfortable doing so. As an alternative, recreate the experience at home. Many restaurants, even top-end establishments, now offer dine-at-home options. Food retailers also offer online delivery options. So, skip the cooking for a night, turn the lights down low and let your eyes meet over some gourmet food. What’s more, you won’t need to catch a cab home.
Love on a budget
For so many of us, the past year has been challenging emotionally – and financially. This year, diamonds may be beyond your budget, but if money is too tight to mention, show how much you care, not how much you’ve spent. Memories are priceless so remind yourself of your most cherished times together with a personalized photobook, set of coasters, or a pair of printed mugs so you can celebrate your love over every morning coffee.
Get some more money-conscious Valentine’s Day ideas with Five ways to say “I love you” on a budget.
Take a vacation at home
That cutesy cabin in the Catskills or beachfront boutique in Big Sur may not be an option this year (or any year!) but don’t let a pandemic, or a limited budget, stop you from taking a “vacation.” Take inspiration from Donna Reed and James Stewart in the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life who have a honeymoon at home in their rickety old house in the rain, with a South Seas poster for a view. Watch a slideshow from a past vacation or plan the trip for “when this is all over.” Anyway, who needs Tahiti when you’ve got each other?
Due to lockdowns and travel restrictions, some couples have sadly been separated by the pandemic. Love conquers all, however, so if you’re living apart, say “I love you” from a distance. Thanks to modern technology, a thousand miles of highway can’t keep your love apart. You’ll no doubt have done Zoom but make an extra effort by getting dressed up for a Valentine’s video date. Compose a loving Valentine’s video message, make a card, or even write a letter - sealed with a kiss, of course! Any delivery will bring welcome cheer during lockdown, so say it with surprise flowers, cupcakes, or beer.
All the single ladies… and gentlemen
Single people sometimes feel a little lonely on Valentine’s Day, but it could be especially hard this year. Socially distanced dating is difficult – as is celebrating being single by going out with a group of friends of the same status. Instead, organize a remote catch-up for all your friends so you can still have fun. In China, Singles’ Day celebrates people who are not in relationships. Observed on November 11, it’s a such a big occasion that it’s an unofficial holiday, and the busiest shopping day of the year. But don’t wait until then, celebrate yourself on February 14th!
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