February 12, 2014

10 New Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day

As you know by now, Valentine's day is one of my favorite holidays.  I love it when I'm single and I love it when I'm in a relationship.  The fascination started with those construction-paper heart packets you decorate and hang on your desk in elementary school, collecting Barbie and Transformer cut-out cards from all your friends in class.  Top it off with a pink frosted sugar heart sugar cookie with sprinkles.....what's not to love?  When did we all get so jaded?

Fast forward 20 years and now it's all about what you're doing on Valentine's Day.  Chicago restaurants have been booked for weeks but my husband and I don't care!  We have our annual tradition set at our favorite Vietnamese BYOB and when we show up, the only other patrons will be friendly families who seem oblivious to the romantic pressure the rest of the world is feeling.  Spending $100 on a bottle of champagne is more justified when dinner costs $15......

This year, think outside the box and try an unconventional Valentine's date in an effort to better enjoy this beautiful, stressful, high-pressure, chocolate covered Hallmark-Holiday:

1.  Host a "friend" Valentine's party at home:  exchange Valentine's themed gifts, drink champagne with strawberries at the bottom of the glass, play your favorite music and be happy that you aren't out there battling the crowds.

2.  Grab a seat a the bar:  while everyone else vies for time-limited tables for two on Valentine's day, visit your favorite restaurant and grab a seat at the bar.  You can stay all night if you like which makes for a fun get-together with a friend or a more casual date if you're early in a relationship.

3.  Love on your co-workers:  what better way to spend Valentine's day than with the people you see more than anyone else in your life?  We exchange awkward Christmas gifts so why not bring in some cupcakes and cards....bonus points if you invite a group out for appetizers after work. 

4.  Head to the park:  if you live anywhere other than Chicago where the temperature is safe to be outside without fear of frost-bite, plan a picnic or share a bottle of wine outside - no reservation required.  If I were in Seattle, I'd be at Kinnear Park.

5.  Go clubbing:  while everyone else is coupling up, take this opportunity to get decked out and party with the party people.  I don't care if you are too old (aka in your 30's) - everyone loves dancing!  *This really only works when Valentine's day is on the weekend, of course.

6.  Change the date:  choose a date the week or month after Valentine's day to spend time with your loved one without the chaos and crowds.  You can still have chocolate, roses and dinner out but you'll  have more privacy and feel less rushed.

7.  Work out:  go running, go skiing, play basketball, hit a class at the gym but if you want to pretend like Valentine's day isn't happening, invest in yourself and a healthy habit you enjoy!

8.  Make it a family affair:   Is your Mom sitting alone at home?  Do you have a sweet little niece, nephew or an awkward pre-teen in your life?  Instead of worrying about what you'll do this Valentine's day, head home to spend time with people who have to love you forever....your family.

9.  Try something out of the ordinary:  sign up for one of those Groupon/Living Social/Dabble deals and try the skydiving, painting class, martial arts, boot camp, golf, ghost tour,  photography lesson, Irish dance, or paddle boarding you've been wondering about. 

10.  Order Chinese food or pizza in....to your hotel room:  Delivery wait times will be high, but you won't care as you're soaking in your fancy tub.  You can get great deals on Valentine's day for hotel rooms downtown so have a Stay-cation in your own town, don't leave your room and have a blast chilling together. 

1 comment:

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