Valentine’s Day has always been a little touchy for me. In high school I remember walking to class with my head down trying to ignore the displays of affection from all of our most famous high school couples. The big teddy bears, the singing telegrams in class, the bouquets of flowers… EWWW. My fellow single friends and I mostly mocked the day but deep down inside all we really wanted were our own Valentine’s.
I remember going home my freshman year and crying to my mom about how I hadn’t gotten any flowers, any secret admirers, or any telegrams. I felt a lot of things. Mostly ugly and uncool. I remember the moment that all turned around. I was sitting in science class, a girl came in with a few single roses. I put my head down pretending to work really hard on whatever we were doing. “I have a rose for Renee.” My head shot up, I looked around just to make sure I hadn’t missed something and as the class turned their heads towards me I raised my hand. I got a nervous tinge of butterflies. Could I have a secret admirer?! She walked over and delivered the rose with a handwritten note. It read, “Happy V-Day Juju! I love you!” If I’m honest, I can’t remember if it had been sent by my parents or my friend but I remember almost crying happy tears and having to hold it all the way together and play it cool like my high school self worth hadn’t just been restored. I felt thought of, and it probably made my entire year. The next year I started baking strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for Valentine’s Day and passing them out to my friends and whoever else wanted one. In my head, I was making someone’s day. I was making them feel loved.
Everytime Valentine’s Day rolls around now, I look for that opportunity. The opportunity to make my friends feel really special and loved. This year looks way different for a lot of reasons we are coming off of a really tough year and things aren’t quite back to normal yet but there is a way!
Send a Handwritten Card or Letter
There is something magical and incredibly thoughtful about a really simple handwritten card. Physical mail is so rare these days so taking the time out of your day to choose, write, envelope lick, stamp, and mail a card is special. This is also probably the most cost efficient option. I’ve received letters on notebook paper that have made me feel so cared for. A stamp costs $0.55. If you already have some paper and an envelope this is an affordable gift! It you want to get slightly more fancy, Target has a bunch of greeting cards in their Dollar Spot. You can grab a pack of at least 12 cards with envelopes for $3.00. If you’ve got money to blow, Etsy has some really unique cards. You can even get them custom designed! Those range anywhere from $5.00-$15.00. Considering that Valentine’s day is next weekend and getting a card shipped to you then sent to someone else may take some time we have a time efficient option. There is also a website called Cardly. You can purchase a card from them, type your message and they will handwrite it and send it to the person of your choice!
Bake and Deliver Some Goodies
You literally can’t go wrong with baked goods. Okay, actually it’s pretty risky but if you know your friend’s allergies you’re good! Simply bake or purchase and neatly repackage some treats. Hand deliver them to friends who are nearby a little before V-Day.
E-mail a Gift Card
This is my personal favorite. If you know your friends favorite store and have it in your budget send them a gift card! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Any amount of money is thoughtful and probably very appreciated. This is a great solution for last minute gift ideas. Simply enter your friend’s email, purchase the card and call it good! If you don’t know your friends favorite store Lush is a personal favorite and a pretty safe bet. They’ve got lots of allergy friendly ingredients and affordably priced items.
Host a Virtual Galentines
I’m hosting a Galentines with two of my closest friends this year and it’s going to be a blast. They live far away but there are still ways to make it feel special. We are planning to watch a movie and drink some wine. You can design an Itinerary with Canva which requires very few design skills and plan out your whole evening or you can simply FaceTime or connect with your loves on Facebook Messenger. Chat, watch a movie, drink wine together, try to cook the same meal together, bake cookies – it can be anything you want it to be!
Hand Deliver Flowers
This is another favorite. I obviously enjoy trying to surprise people. Flowers. $9.99 a Dozen. That’s 12 single stem roses to just give out. You can include a sweet note or a little bag of candy. My favorite route is to buy pink cardstock, a hole punch and some twine. Cut the cardstock into a heart shape write a sweet or witty note, hole punch the corner and tie it onto the stem with twine. Note or not roses say, you’re so cool and I like being your friend.
Take it to Grade School
I am a sucker for those cute Valentines candies with the little cards that you probably handed out in preschool. Fun Dip is my favorite one. Everytime I see them at the store I am so tempted. I used to think to myself, no one gives those out anymore. This year, I’m giving them out. Walmart sells Fun-Dip Valentine’s for $2.48 for a 24 Pack. Chances are, this year I probably won’t be seeing any friends on Valentine’s Day or even near Valentine’s Day. However, I do live in a building with a ton of units. My plan is to spoil the folks in my building. I’ll leave a bucket of treats with sweet messages on them in the foyer. There won’t be enough for everyone but it’ll make someone’s day. It’s safe, sanitary and makes me feel good. Hopefully I’m not left with 24 packs of Fun Dip to eat at the end of the night, if I were though I wouldn’t be too mad about it. If you want to spread some V-Day cheer try passing out goodies to strangers – I would wear gloves and maybe just leave candy or cards on folks doorsteps or hand them to a passersby on a holiday walk.
TLDR: Dont something nice for someone else this V-Day! It can be as inexpensive as sending card, or you could send a whole gift set. You could bake cookies or leave kind notes around for strangers. Make someone else feel thought of.