Valentine’s Day Gifts that Won’t Put You in the Red
Here, some ideas for giving from the heart without putting you in the red.
The Ghost of Christmas Past meets Cupid’s kiss — or in other words, you can add to the holiday credit card debt a romantic dinner, a dozen red roses, a box of gourmet chocolates and maybe even a trip to the jeweler.
Just as you’re lamenting financial overindulgence from the holidays, along comes Valentine’s Day with its expectations of romantic displays and other heart-felt gestures of love and friendship. Here, some ideas for giving from the heart without putting you in the red.
Fireside or candle-lit picnic. Instead of splurging for dinner at a posh four- or five-star restaurant, prepare an intimate picnic at home. Lounge in front of a roaring fire with a home-cooked gourmet meal or an assortment of your favourite cheeses paired with a bottle of wine or champagne.
A single red rose and home-made truffles. You’ll save on the hefty price of a dozen red roses and a box of gourmet chocolates (both of which are typically inflated for Valentine’s Day) as well as demonstrate a little originality.
Spend quality time together. Look for free or inexpensive activities in your area like festivals, or get out and get some exercise with a day of snowshoeing or hiking at a local park.
Eat out, but eat less. Instead of an expensive dinner, watch for community fundraisers like a brunch or dessert event at your church, a local heritage attraction or community centre, If you plan to eat out, go for desserts and drinks instead of a full meal.
Enjoy some in-house pampering. Skip the expensive side-by-side treatments at the spa and take turns pampering each other at home. Enjoy a scented bath with a few drops of essential oils, take turns giving massages and indulge in a sugar scrub or facial using ingredients right from your pantry. (See European Beauty Secrets and The blissful benefits of a bath for tips and recipes.)
Your personal DJ. Remember the mixed tape? Update this stand-by and create your own personal playlist on your mp3 player. Select your favourite songs — especially ones that are tied to important moments — and add a picture of you and your sweetheart as the “album art”. Then, simply plug your player into your stereo system or speakers and settle in for some romantic music (and maybe even a little dancing).
Think outside the box for jewellery. While diamonds have become the classic expression of love (thanks to the prodigious efforts of the diamond industry), semi-precious stones can make a stunning and less costly alternative.