Lately, it feels like all the cliches and forced capitalism around Valentine’s Day have taken all the fun out of celebrating it at all. But we’ve all had one hell of a year, and any excuse to celebrate love and the people we care about is worth seizing this year! Do it because you want to and because the people in your life are worth it, not because you have to!
There are two things you likely want to avoid for Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re in the early stages of a new romantic entanglement: expensive shit, and the pressure to bring on the serious romance. Keep things casual and just use it as an opportunity to spend some quality time together and grow your bond — after all, that’s the original intention of this “holiday.” Here are six ways to celebrate love (or like!) this Valentine’s Day that don’t feel like cliched byproducts of capitalism. 😅
1. A romantic dinner at home
Ditch the triple priced roses and fancy dinner reservation, and go for something homemade with love. Not only will this allow you to get some quality time together away from all the noise and chaos, but the time and energy you put into preparing the meal will show that you care.
2. DIY craft night
Turn the evening into a DIY craft night, and make your gifts for each other! You can make custom frames and then put a picture of yourselves in there, or opt for something sillier like making a portrait of each other with a big reveal moment.
3. Karaoke night
If Troy and Gabriella can fall in love over one karaoke song, so can you. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and you can set it up right at home to keep things private. Just cue up both of your favorite songs on your TV at home (YouTube has plenty of tracks with lyrics) and use anything as a pretend mic (hair brushes are our personal faves). Letting your guard down around each other and allowing yourselves to be vulnerable will help deepen your bond.
4. Pizza is always the answer
Pizza + a bottle of champagne is the perfect answer when you’re going for a low-key “cozy with a sprinkle of fancy” vibe. It also perfectly pairs with easy stay-home activities like watching a movie or playing board games. The relaxed environment will take the pressure off the evening while allowing you to get to know one another better!
5. Make a donation in their name
A lot of people have been going through a hard time financially now more than ever. If you don’t feel like going all in on Valentine’s day this year, you can make a difference in someone’s life and donate what you would have spent in their name to a worthy cause! If you already know causes they care about, pick one of those and write them a little card explaining the gift. Otherwise, there are some great organizations like the International Rescue Committee that let you donate in honor of someone, and send them a personalized card.
6. Bagels and the outdoors
With the amount of time we’ve all spent indoors this year, any chance to go out in nature is a blessing. Look up a good local hiking spot, grab some bagels and coffee, and head out for a day in nature with your partner!