I don’t think Valentine’s Day deserves the fuss it gets.
I think celebrating people you love is fantastic. I think you should do it all year round. If we are going to make a day about it then I’m all for writing a nice card to those I love – sweethearts & beyond- and perhaps even picking up something small to express my feelings. I think Valentine’s Day for kids is a lot of fun- cupcakes & cards & parties at school, oh my!- but I think that the Hallmark-Holiday aspect of it is out of control.
As a woman with a sweetie, I don’t demand (or even deserve) a night on the town complete with diamonds, flowers & waxy chocolates. I don’t feel the need to spend our hard earned money on a rushed “pre-fix” meal at a sweetheart table, crammed into a restaurant like sardines with a million other couples celebrating an obligatory holiday. If I have to call for a reservation 3 months in advance you’d better be sure I’m dining at a Michael Simon, Art Smith or Thomas Keller restaraunt. If not it just isn’t worth it in my opinion. When I was single I didn’t understand the opposite yet popular choice of trashing the holiday either. In college (during my single days) my roommates & I made chocolate dipped strawberries and watched a movie together. In law school I’d make plans to see a movie with friends or, gasp- I’d rent a movie and watch it alone in my jammies while I enjoyed a glass of champagne in my own apartment, reminding myself that I loved my life and who I was, man or no man.
This year B & I are sticking to our tradition and making a special dinner at home – perhaps beef tenderloin this year- renting a movie and having homemade dessert. A few weeks later we will go out for a nice dinner, on our own terms, with a full menu selection & dine surrounded by more “normal” patrons. Last year it was on our special “February dinner out that isn’t Valentine’s Day” that B proposed, in the frigid air under twinkling lights off Michigan Avenue. This year I’m hoping it is a little more low key but equally romantic and delicious! (For those curious we are going back to The Cape Cod Room in the Drake Hotel which is where we ate dinner after the proposal!)
For my men-folk readers out there, I do have some small gift ideas if you are shopping for a special someone this holiday season. I don’t think a gift for the Puffy Heart Holiday should cost you too much money, so here are a few favorites that I think any woman would love. (Ladies: feel free to pick these up for your best friend any time of the year.)
There isn’t a more luxurious body cream on the market and it comes in both light, refreshing scents (my favorite is lemon sage) but also in an unscented version, perfect for picky women or those who have sensitive skin. This stuff makes getting out of any bathtub or shower that much better and is worth every penny. I’m a big fan of small indulgences and this one fits the bill!
Whether you chose a modern orchid, an indoor rosebush or the pretty flowering bonsai above, a potted flower is a gift that lasts. While I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who is a self-admitted plant killer, if you have a special someone who spends a lot of time in the office or complains that their home is devoid of life, something pretty (and living) might be just the ticket to a cheerier spot.
If your Valentine enjoys photography & has invested in a high quality camera, give them a way to tell their camera apart from the crowd. These straps (sold on Etsy) are adorable and a nice way to make that big investment harder to lose in the shuffle. (Not to mention, in my opinion, a handmade gift is always more meaningful.)
Ok, this is a little over the self imposed $50 limit but it gets the sentiment across in a keepsake kitchen dish. Le Creuset enamel pieces are worth every bit you spend on them – they are the secret behind fantastic sauces, soups, red beans & rice and more. It doesn’t hurt that after using it for 8 hours to make a perfect beef stew the whole thing wipes clean in less than five minutes, no scrubbing necessary. I use my Le Creuset pieces just about every day in my kitchen, which by my estimation means they are a better investment than the $30 pan I use once a year. If you have someone in your life that you love who loves to cook, this might be the ticket to a fabulous February 14!
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day…and I hope that all of you celebrate one of my favorite day’s of the year, February 15 which is also known as Half Priced Chocolate Day. Stop into a local chocolate shop (or, swoon, Godiva) and pick up a heart shaped box of your favorite truffles or turtles for 50% off!