Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to revolve around bouquets of roses or teddy bears holding hearts. With a little creativity and thoughtfulness, you can take the obligation out of the celebration to make the day mean so much more. After all, this is the one day a year all about showing love—here are some meaningful ways to do just that.

Isn’t it Romantic—Partner Love

Write a Song

Change up the words to their favorite tune to express your Valentine’s Day feelings, or if you’re musically inclined, write an original. Take time to find the right words, get them down on paper, and then plan an unforgettable delivery. Whether your style is humorous or heartfelt, your loved one will never forget the gesture.

Go For Gold

Gold symbolizes commitment and longevity—but you don’t need to wait until your 50th wedding anniversary to make it meaningful for you. Give a gift of gold—earrings, necklaces, or bracelets for her; chains, watches, or cufflinks for him. With your gift, give a handwritten message that expresses how your love is strong, timeless, and precious—just like gold.

Show Them You Know Them

In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, pay special attention to comments your significant other might make. When you hear them mention things they need to buy or want to do, take note. Jot the note down and keep the running list in a secret place—in your phone’s notes, in the back of a book, wherever, just write it down (trust us on this!). When the day comes, you’ll have a go-to list of ideas to serve as proof that you listen, care, and love.

 

All Together Now—Family Love

Create a Box of Memories

Upcycle an old box into a place for favorite family memories. Encourage family members to write memories down and contribute memorabilia as well—ticket stubs, drawings, photos, and more. When each person adds the memories that mean the most to them, it becomes a special Valentine’s Day gift the whole family will appreciate. Add to the box throughout the year, and go through the box every Valentine’s Day to celebrate your best times together.

Rethink the Bouquet

Instead of bringing home a bouquet of roses for the family to enjoy, give the kids seed packets. We all love to receive blooming bouquets, but there is something special about giving a gift that invites participation from the recipient. The kids will love helping to plant them in the spring, and the gift will keep giving when the flowers bloom.

Fill a Jar with Love

Repurpose a jelly jar by filling it with sweet thoughts the kids will love to read. You could have a theme for your jar—for example, “50 Reasons Why I Love Being Your Mom” or “20 Things Daddy Does to Make Me Smile.” These little love notes can be handwritten or printed out from the computer. Decorate the jar with tissue paper, magazine clippings, or decoupage. On Valentine’s Day and every day after, it will hold those sweet, affirming words.

 

Best Friends Forever—Galentine Love

Recreate School Days

Have a group of girlfriends you grew up with? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some nostalgia—elementary school-style. Ask each Galentine to create her own crafty, personalized Valentine mailbox, with a special card for each partygoer. It’ll be a blast to see what each friend designs, and you can read the cards to each other before reminiscing over glasses of wine.

Give a G-Day Gift

Who says a special Valentine’s Day gift should be reserved for romantic couples? Let that friend who’s gone above and beyond to support you this year know how much you care, appreciate, and love her. Gift her a Galentine’s Day gift that goes beyond expectations. A pair of earrings with a heartfelt card, a charm bracelet with fresh-baked cookies, a birthstone pendant and fresh flowers—the unexpected show of appreciation will melt her heart.

Get Fancy-Schmancy

She’ll think she’s coming over to hang out, as usual. When she gets there, she’ll discover what you’ve really been up to—a multi-course dinner to enjoy from drinks to dessert. Have fun with themed cocktails, creative appetizers, and a Galentine’s Day-themed party favor for her to remember the surprise. 

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