Every year, it happens. You’re faced with the 14th of February, scouring big box florists’ websites and making reservations at that old favorite restaurant just so that you can celebrate the day of love with the one you love. We’ve been there.
You can make what you want of Valentine’s Day, and if you’re a couple that doesn’t want to celebrate it, we completely understand. The cynics in us hear the argument that it’s a commercialized holiday intended to push people to spend money on cards and chocolate and bears and flowers that aren’t the highest quality and don’t even express the love that we want to. But the romantics in us also know that too often, we let the special relationships in our lives unfold unnoticed, and it’s nice to have a day that reminds us to be grateful for the ones we love.
When we think about gifting to each other, while we love small, “materialistic” presents, our favorite ones are always experiences. I loved when Radhika “got” me a trip to New York for my birthday, and while I bought her a film camera for Christmas, I knew that the experiences she would have with it were going to be more important than the money spent on the camera itself. We are big believers in love languages, and we like to think of them when picking out gifts. To find out your love language, head here!
Once you know the love language of your partner, it’s a little easier to figure out what to gift them. Here are five ideas we have come up with for Valentine’s Day:
This one can be hard because it really depends on what your partner wants or needs! When possible though, try to surprise them with something that they would love, but would not necessarily think to buy for themselves. What’s the perfect gift, in our opinion? Photographs. If you have had a session recently, print your photos! We cannot stress that enough. Do you have your USB framed and hanging on your wall? No? That’s because digital files don’t have real value. They’re great for sharing on Facebook, but ultimately, bring us very little joy. Create an album or canvas or frame some statement 11x14s of photos that you and your partner love for your home. There’s no better artwork that you can display! If you’ve had a session recently with us, just send us a message and we would be glad to help with this!
This one is too easy! Schedule a couple’s massage for you or your loved one at your favorite spa, or work a little harder to learn how to give a great massage yourself! You can also pick up a book to learn how to give massages yourself and impress your partner.
Words of affirmation
This is one of my favorites because how often do we get the chance to really tell our loved ones what they mean to us or why we appreciate them? I mean, not just in the form of one of those Papyrus cards, but really, really express how much we love them and why? Not that often. Not often enough. If you really want to make an impression, contact a calligrapher or hand letterer (some of our favorite local ones are Sage Paper Co., Bridget Lynette, and our one and only Radhika) and ask them to calligraph a love letter to your partner. Afterwards, frame it to display as a piece of art in your home!
Acts of service
One of my favorite things that we used to do for our parents when we were younger is make a “coupon book” with things that we would do for them so that they didn’t have to — vacuum the house, clean the dishes, do the laundry, etc. You can make a grown-up version of this for your partner that includes all of the things that they do on a regular basis that you could take off their plate. Or, just surprise them and do it for them anyway. Still waiting on Radhika to cook me a gigantic meal for dinner one of these days…
For people whose love languages are quality time, you might often find them planning elaborate dates and days together. You can do the same for them for Valentine’s Day! Think about what the two of you enjoy doing together, and then plan an entire day filled with activities that would be fun for the two of you. Love hiking? Find a new trail to try out together. Love dessert? Pick out a new recipe to bake and then enjoy with your dinner. The possibilities here are endless! Our number one recommendation? Schedule a photo session for you and your partner. A good photographer will not only help you preserve memories, but the experience of working with them itself will be special and allow you to spend some quality time together. For all you gentlemen or supposedly “unphotogenic” people reading this, I know this idea might make you cringe, but if you want to score some real points this Valentine’s Day, get your partner an experience that you can look back on together. Literally.
Do you have other ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts that you love? Leave us a comment below and let us know!