Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love is in the air -- Can't Buy Me Love

On February 14, people celebrate love and friendship by exchanging cards, flowers, and candy. The romance we associate with Valentine's Day may come from the medieval belief that birds select their mates on February 14th (love birds anyone?). In the Middle Ages, lovers recited verse or prose to one another in honor of the day.

Although the origins of Valentine's Day are hazy, ancient Romans commemorated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the fifteenth of February. (Supposedly, The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year). Christian gloss was added to the pagan holiday when the date moved to the fourteenth of February—the saint day associated with many early Christian martyrs named Valentine (who knew there were SEVERAL martyrs named "Valentine."

Whatever the history is, we've made Valentines Day become a BIG day. I believe that Valentines Day has become WAY too commercialized. I even hate the fact that at school valentines day exchanges, candy is often "expected." I quit giving in to that thought a few years ago.

Here are just a few money saving ideas to get the appreciation and love across (to your valentines of all ages). Actions and words can convey much more than expensive jewelry and fancy dinners.

1. Make a card. Find some mushy quote from someone famous. Search online. its not hard. Or write your true feelings.
2. Locate a public domain book on google book search. I read books on my iPhone. You could also check one out of your public library
3. Make cookies or cut some sandwiches into heart shapes
4. Bring the old-fashioned ice cream parlor to your own living room (ice cream and toppings).
5. Create a "secret message" that needs to be decoded
6. Coupon book of acts of kindness (but then you actually have to do this)
7. Tuck a love note into a jacket pocket, purse or lunch bag to be found. Do this more than once.
8. Put together a box of this person's favorite food
9. Go out JUST for dessert
10. Wander through libraries and bookstores and browse.
11. Read poetry together
12. Go for a walk
13. Play old fashioned board games.
14. Be creative -- remember, its really the thought that counts.

So, what money saving tips do you have for Valentines day? How can we add some "romance" and fun without a lot of money?