4 Unconventional Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

By Tamiera Vandegrift on February 9, 2018

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! For some of us, this means that it’s time to start planning out our dinner reservations and stocking up on those little, colorful conversation hearts to give to our sweethearts to let them know just how much they mean to us. Valentine’s Day is full of traditions that are super sweet and romantic to follow, but hey, what’s life without breaking traditions every once in a while?

Typical Valentine’s Day festivities certainly aren’t for everyone. They can put a lot of pressure on couples and single folks to plan out the perfect date. These festivities aren’t always good for the wallet either. According to the National Retail Foundation, last year, the total spending for Valentine’s Day was expected to peak at almost 20 BILLION dollars, which can be rounded down to almost $150 per person. Cupid’s bow might as well be shooting an arrow into the heart of our piggy bank instead.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it’s certainly okay to take a step outside of the norm and what’s expected. There are a ton of ways to celebrate this day of love that don’t include fancy, candlelit dinners and gift-giving, whether it be because of your budget, your relationship status, or, we can be honest, your lack of desire for conformity (The best of us have it!). Whatever the case, there are tons of fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day the non-traditional way. Keep reading to find some ideas!

hearts, rose petals, Valentine's Day, love

Image via: www.pexels.com

Celebrate with Friends

There seems to be some preconceived notion that Valentine’s Day is exclusively reserved for those in a romantic relationship, but in reality, it’s a day to show love to everyone in your life. If you don’t have a sweetheart to spend the day with, don’t feel bad! Instead, reach out to some of your closest friends and plan a date with them. Go out to dinner together and finish the night off with a movie. Throw a small shindig at your place to enjoy the day together and maybe smash some of those corny heart-shaped pinatas while you’re at it. Cook a huge potluck dinner together and treat it like the fantastic group date that it is. Make cute, cheap gifts for each other to exchange over snacks and drinks (if you’re old enough!) The point is that we can treat our friends just as nicely as we treat our lovers, so let’s use Valentine’s Day to show our buddies the extra love they deserve.

Show Some Love the Charitable Way

Somewhere there is a cause or an individual that can use all of the love that only you can offer. Spend your Valentine’s Day dedicating yourself to making the world a better place. Show your community some love by volunteering at the local animal shelter for an afternoon. Give some well-deserving animals some puppy love, as they can go for long periods of time without any human interaction. Spend the day making Valentine’s Day cards for those in need of some extra love, like hospital patients or those residing in nursing homes. Look into local nonprofits and see if there is anything you can do to help their cause. Doing things to help others can make your heart and the hearts of those around you feel warmer and fuzzier than any Melting Pot dinner reservation.

hands, heart, love

Image via: www.pexels.com

Make Some Thoughtful DIY Gifts

Flowers, diamonds, and chocolates? Yawn. Boring. There are some more creative and, let’s face it, more frugal ways to show your sweetheart or your friends how much you care about them. After all, DIY gifts come right from the heart. Pinterest and Buzzfeed have tons of ideas waiting to be found, but here is an example of how to take a trademark Valentine’s Day gift and twist it into something entirely unique:

Instead of your classic bouquet of roses, think about making a bouquet of something a little more unique and durable for Valentine’s Day. Use yarn to construct a cute bouquet that will last a heck of a lot longer than a bag of flowers. Stock up on candy treats if your Valentine has a sweet tooth and make a delicious bouquet out of them. If you’re especially good at arts and crafts, try making an origami bouquet!

Celebrate on a Different Day

February 14th is overrated. After all, a lot of the restaurants and other spots of interest will be booked for Valentine’s Day. Why go through the hassle of making phone calls months in advance for a dinner? Instead, celebrate Valentine’s Day on a different day. Think about waiting until the weekend to celebrate. You’ll be able to keep the party going longer without that nagging reminder of your 9:30 a.m. lecture or your 8 a.m. shift in the back of your mind. If Valentine’s Day falls on the weekend, think about moving your festivities to the following day or the day before. A lot of restaurants and other points of interest hold events throughout the month of February, so it’s truly never too late to celebrate!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day never has to be cookie-cutter and boring. There are tons of ways to shake it up and plan fun ways to shake up the holiday. These ideas only scrape the surface of how much possibility there is for the day of love. So what’re you waiting for? Get those Valentine’s Day plans rolling!

Happy V-Day!

Tamiera is an alumna of Florida State University, having earned a BA in Editing, Writing & Media and a BA in Digital Media Production. Tamiera is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, inspired by the works of Lars von Trier, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofsky. Tamiera has previously written for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, College Magazine, and more. She has recently published a creative thesis containing short stories based on mental illnesses in the media. In the future, Tamiera aspires to win "Best Original Screenplay" or "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards with one of her film projects. Besides writing and storytelling, Tamiera enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with friends, and geeking out over movie trivia.

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