Next Tuesday is a special American-made holiday. I thought hard about what Valentine’s Day was for the first 28 years of my life before I met my husband. I figured I would share those thoughts with you today. You might even be inspired to look at this “singles awareness day” in a whole new light.

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Photo Credit: http://ana-rosa.tumblr.com

When I was in elementary, middle, and even high school my parents made Valentine’s a big deal for my brother and I. I would get flowers delivered to school, or chocolates. I might even wake up to heart shaped pancakes or tea served in one of my mom’s special pink or red cup and saucers. I looked forward to that day knowing that my parents would come through and remember me. As I got older I would even seek out to give my mom something or buy my father a silly card. My mom is like me and loves jewelry. It was easy to find heart shaped tokens for the special day. Here’s a few jewelry ideas for mom or grandma that would be a sweet surprise.

 

I love these unique heart lovelies…click here to see more jewelry ideas.

As I got into college years, I never seemed to have a boyfriend on this dreaded holiday. I was hopeful every year but came to think that there was a conspiracy between guys and Valentine’s Day. My thoughts were that these boys figured if they invested in you on Valentine’s then you might as well stick a fork in them because they were done. They were committed from then on out…the end. So, a few of my friends and I would celebrate “Gal-entine’s Day” instead. It was similar to secret Santa. Us gals would draw names, keep it secret, and then on “love” day each person would send a little gift to their selected person. Because of the thoughtfulness of my friends, each one of us knew that we would receive a heart-felt, encouraging gift, and we would actually look forward to the day. Here’s a little gift guide for your girl friends:

 

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Click here to check out this cute top and others available on CheeseBurgerDesign Shop on Etsy.

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What a great way to remind your sweet friend that she is fierce! Check out these pencils at CouldYouPlease shop on Etsy. Click Here

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These will make her laugh! Check out these cute socks on EnglishBliss shop on Etsy. Click here

When I lived overseas and didn’t have a big friend network, I had to be more creative. One of my favorite memories was going through a cookbook (this was before pinterest), finding a decadent meal like lamb chops with mint sauce, getting the ingredients the day before, and making myself an extravagant dinner. I would start with a bottle of red wine while I was cooking, put on some jazz or classical music (paying close attention to not have songs with cheesy love lyrics playing), and I would take my time treating myself to a unique cooking experience with a delicious payoff. Lighting candles, using the “good” china, and watching a funny movie after dinner all added to the experience as well. If you like my dinner idea here is a recipe that is tried and true. That’s just me though, your night should be about you, so cook something that is better than what you could order at a restaurant. You can do it! If it doesn’t turn out great, no worries, life isn’t perfect but taking the time to do something different and kind for yourself is perfection!

 

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Click here for the full recipe. 

 

My take away from Valentine’s is that it is not just a day for lovers but a day for love in general. Love those who you share your life with, like your parents, grandparents and siblings; be grateful and celebrate the friendships of those who are in the same place in life that you are. They can be your safe haven on hard days. First and foremost though, love and treat yourself! You are pretty great!

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11 thoughts on “Alternatives to Valentine’s Day

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