Ideas To Ditch The Flowers & Dinner Reservations

When it comes to Valentine's Day, I'm like a sponge that soaks up everyone's feelings about it, the enthusiasts, the skeptics and the downright haters. There are so many different vibes about this overly-commercial day that I'm kind of happy it falls on a Saturday this year.  Not because I plan to forgo celebrating, but because I think it gives everyone the flexibility to make it whatever they want it to be. Single, taken, whatever!

Over the years, my fondest V-Day memories with my partner have been the times when we botched it up royally. In the early days, he once slaved over a home-cooked dinner by candlelight only to have me stub my toe on a nail and worry that I might have tetanus throughout the whole meal. Another year, we made plans to go to this darling little restaurant not thinking that a late brunch of blood pudding and sausages would affect our appetites. By the time we got to dinner, we were so queasy neither of us could take a bite.  It's those kind of hilarious memories that shine brighter than jewels.

With that spirit in mind, here are some suggestions to make the day memorable, no flowers and hard-to-get restaurant seats required:

Celebrate your love of learning- Whether traveling in a pack, a twosome, or solo, a Saturday love-fest means that you can see the latest art exhibit at the AGO, watch the fishes swim at the aquarium, or contemplate the marvels of the universe at the science centre (sorry for being so Toronto-centric, but you get the point). I don't know about you, but nothing pulls at my heart strings quite like someone explaining the big bang theory to me.

Celebrate your love of food- Why spend a ton on an overpriced meal when you can have a culinary adventure in your own home? For a bit of food-nerd trivia, why not pick up a couple of diverse cheeses and cured meats each, and try to guess which region they came from. You can do the same with wine! I'll leave whether you want to include blindfolds and awards for good guesses up to your own discretion.

Celebrate your love of togetherness- With all the hyper-focus on romance during this one day, it's easy to forget about all the other sources of love in your life. Why not take a parent out on the town, get your in-laws a token gift, snuggle with your pooch or spend some time with your best friends watching movies?  This year we are getting together with a bunch of our closest buddies to have a family-style meal celebration. I can't think of a better way to spend the day!

Celebrate yourself- No matter what relationship status you tick off on your government forms, a little self-love is never a bad thing. I know that I'll take some extra care to make sure I exercise and drink my favourite tea, before truly starting my day on Saturday. What makes you feel energized and inspired? Ask yourself those questions.