While Valentine’s Days has been celebrated for hundreds of years, it wasn’t until the 1400s that the written Valentines became popular among the elite. Fast forward to the 18th century and you’ll find that the exchange of small gifts and letters is popular among most people in the US. Another hundred years and the first mass produced Valentine’s Day greeting card is on the market. Now in fact, 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.
But how do all those love notes add up monetarily? An estimated $21.8 billion will be spent in 2021 on cards, candy, and flowers. That means the average American celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend $164.76 on their loved one. With all of the advertising we see on TV and social media, no wonder we spend so much!
I don’t know about you, but that makes my wallet hurt and my head spin with all the clutter that could end up in my house. But you’re here because you need a last minute Valentine’s Day gift they’ll love. I have a few gift ideas that will make both of us happy!
Bonus – these all cost approximately ZERO dollars and ARE NOT clutter. (You’re welcome.)
Words of appreciation
One of my husband’s love languages is “words of affirmation”. So when I say – “Thanks babe for vacuuming the whole house. You’re such a magnificent help and I really appreciate you.” Or “You’re doing really great balancing working from home and helping out with Tiny Human at nap time.” it can give him that little boost in spirit that he needs in the middle of a difficult work day.
It’s the unsolicited “thank you, I love you, I appreciate you” goes such a long ways. Take time to write out a thank you/love you/ appreciate you note to your loved ones. This could be only for your spouse, but it could be really neat to write one for you kids as well.
“Honey, I’ll do that” list
I can’t be the only one that would absolutely love to get a list from my husband of all the things he’ll do around the house! A list that would include making meals, cleaning up dishes, vacuuming, laundry, walking the dog, and putting our kiddo to bed all in the same day would be absolutely dreamy. Especially as a new mom, I would have totally appreciated this WAY more than any flowers or jewelry.
So think of all the things your spouse does around the house. Get the kids in on this, too! Make a list of items you can take off their plate for a single day… and then actually do them!
Cook a meal together
Valentine’s Day can have meals just like any other day. There isn’t a need to go buy $20 steaks and $40 wine. Plan out a meal that is attainable, maybe a new dish, and cook it together. Enjoy the process of cooking together rather than rushing to get something on the plate and in front of your kids before you lose your mind.
Slowing down enough to talk about how something is prepared, or wonder where something was grown is special because it is rarely done. An un-rushed cook should also savor their meal and take time to eat something that was lovingly prepared. Take the time to taste the flavors of the dish and enjoy the time spent eating with your loved ones.
“Why I Love You” notes
Why I love you… that means so much more than “I love you”. It is so much more personal and can be so fun to write.
This “why I love you” note doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be contained to just one piece of paper. NO! It should be spread out across many sticky notes that you leave scattered around the house Valentine’s Day eve. Yes, so when your partner wakes up, they find a brightly colored trail of beautiful love notes as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Bust out the board games, cards, and puzzles! You can make snacks and drinks to make a whole night (or whole day) out of it. This Valentine’s Day gift idea isn’t so much a physical gift as it is an experience. And if you’ve made it this far on the list, you’ll catch my point. All of these gifts aren’t actual things. They’re thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
If you need a list of our favorite games, head over to my post HERE on entertaining.
DIY Valentine’s Day Gift (with things you already have)
I love a good and easy DIY gift. My go-to is sewing something up using fabric from my stash (favorite patterns and inspiration can be found at SpoonFlower). So think of what you’re good at and what your hobbies are.
Here are a few ideas:
- Love cooking? Dinner around the world meal plan – each month you cook a dish together that is inspired by the country of your choice. Type it up and print it off.
- Environmental enthusiast? Litter picking walk or hike through a beautiful area near you.
- Is sewing your thing? Make quick cloth napkins out of 12″x12″ squares.
- Love dogs? Cook up some puppy friendly treats.
Of course, there are hundreds of unique hobbies and something you could do for each one of them! To create a low cost (or free!) Valentine’s Day gift, get creative with what you love to do and what you’re recipient loves as well. Even if it isn’t perfect, they’ll appreciate the effort you put forth.
Almost everyone has a streaming service these days! Pick a top rated movie (or even the worst rated one), make up some snacks, and snuggle close. You can even get a little creative with this Valentine’s Day gift and make a “movie ticket” for your loved one to redeem. We all haven’t been to a real movie theater in a while, so having an actual ticket to something could be really exciting! (or is that just me??? 🙂 )
Sorry, not sorry, you can’t buy these things on Amazon.
I would say I am sorry for not linking to the trendiest gifts on Amazon that will arrive at your doorstep in two days or less. But I’m not sorry. If the last year has taught us anything, it should be that we need to value people and relationships over money, stuff, and things.
You see, the more you have in your life (knick-knacks, clothing, cooking utensils, electronics, etc.), the less time you have to spend with your loved ones. The more time you have spend to take care of your things (social media included) is time taken away from the relationships that are right in front of you.
When did Valentine’s Day become a second Christmas?
This holiday wasn’t meant to spoil the people in our lives with junk they don’t need or want. It wasn’t meant for us to spend hundreds of dollars telling someone we love them. How about telling someone we love them by saying “I love you. You’re doing great.”? That’s the type of gift I want.