A friend pointed out that there are plenty of opportunities for cheap Valentines — the most difficult are elegant expressions of your love that also don’t cost much. Here, then, in the spirit of love, are some helpful suggestions:
*Buy flowers, all right — 1-3 of the very best blooms you can find. Roses are the primary stems in the Vase of Love, partly because, for many years in the Language of Flowers, they represented love. You have to be careful on color, though. Red expresses the highest, truest form of love. (It’s no wonder, then, that red roses are hands down the primary flower of Valentine’s Day.) Pink roses are maternal love. White means purity; peach, sophistication. But yellow? Watch out for that one. It signifies suspicion and treachery. It wasn’t until the 20th century (with the love of the American Florists Association) that yellow came to stand for friendship.
Buy your flowers loose, and wrap in colored tissue. Most women already have more than their share of the cheesy vases and baskets flower arrangements normally come in.
*Don’t forget other sweets besides chocolates. Cupcakes are one of today’s biggest trends — they can be personalized (“I love you, cupcake!”) and only cost a buck or so. If you’re getting chocolates, a small box of the very best will say as much — or more — than a five-pound offering of mediocre chocolates. (Important: find out if he/she prefers milk or dark chocolate. Nearly everyone has a strong preference.)
*If you’re a guy, make her a meal. As a red-blooded woman, I cannot emphasize how sexy this is. Husband courted me this way — the first and only one to do so. It didn’t hurt his cause at all! Add a good bottle of wine, excellent coffee and some chocolate for dessert, and she’ll be putty in your hands.
*If you’re a woman, make him a meal. Choose his very favorite foods. Not yours — his. Use the best ingredients possible. (Guys, this isn’t a bad idea for your loverbuns, either.) Feed the kids, and send them to bed — or in their rooms to play. (Put on a video, and/or award prizes all around if they stay there for the whole meal.) Arrange your dishes on the deck — or if that’s frozen over, by the fire.
*No time to cook? Have coffee and dessert at the nicest, darkest restaurant you can find. Ask to be seated near the fire, or a window overlooking the view. If it’s dark, raining or snowing, score an extra point for your side. (For really broke romantics, coffee alone will do.)
And don’t forget those three little words. Spoken with feeling, they’ll be the most meaningful in the world:
“I love you.”
This post is by staff writer Cindy Brick. Cindy is a quilting expert with several published books on the subject and has also had many published articles on a variety of subjects. You can visit her business website at CindyBrick.com or visit her personal blog.