Thursday, January 26, 2017

Unique Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I'd share a few new ways that you can celebrate the holiday - even if you're spending the day alone! We have spent three out of four Valentine's Days apart and this year we'll most likely be enjoying our newborn son. Needless to say, Valentine's Day hasn't been traditional for us in any way and that's where the idea for today's post originated.

Some of these ideas are geared towards those who will be spending the holiday alone due to deployments or other obstacles, while others are designed with couples in mind.

Girls Day
Turn the day into a fun night with the girls. You could do a girls night out having fun together. You could also plan an at home party and invite all of your friends to join in on the fun!

Why not spread the love to complete strangers? Spend some time investing in Random Acts of Kindness. Leave small notes and surprises in various places for strangers to find. You'll be doing a small act of good for the world and I guarantee you'll add a smile to someone's day!

Secret Valentines
This is a fun twist on the holiday. This one works just like Secret Santa except in February! Team up with your friends, draw names, and spend some time showering each other with gifts!

Focus on Self Care
Use the holiday as an excuse to pamper yourself a little bit. I recommend planning a special night for the most important person in your life - yourself. After all, self care is an important part of life.

Care Package
Send your military member a special care package to celebrate the holiday. There are all sorts of creative holiday themed care packages that you can find on Pinterest.

Handmade Gifts
Instead of spending a fortune on gifts from the store, how about challenging each other to make your gifts this year? You'll have fun flexing your creative muscles and it'll result in meaningful gifts.

Creative Date
Forego the classic dinner and a movie this year and create your own perfect date. You'll avoid the crowds and have a memorable night for years to come!

Exchange Letters
If you can't be together for the holiday but would still like to do something small and simple, then why not exchange classic love letters? This one could even be incorporated into the holiday if you're going to be together.

Or don't celebrate at all!
There's no rule that says you have to celebrate every holiday that is on the calendar. This includes Valentine's Day. Don't hesitate to avoid the holiday and do something special on a different day instead!

Stories from the Military Community
How have other military couples celebrated in the past? I asked a few and they gave me a few of their favorite stories to share with you!

Kelly has a post that talks about how Japan celebrates Valentines Day and how it's actually 2 holidays. You can read her post here.

"One Valentine's Day when he was deployed, he surprised me with a delivery of a wine gift basket! It had wine, chocolate, and even a decorative wine glass! That took some of the sting out of being so far apart.

When we were stationed overseas, we had a creative Valentines party for the unit. The Gunny's family hosted a couples night. They hired a local caterer to prepare authentic paella (we were in Spain), then we played some funny couples games and won prizes. It was a great way to get to know other couples in the unit and split the cost of a creative date night!" - The Seasoned Spouse

"One thing we like to do is give each other and experience rather than just gifts. So one year we went to a concert, another year we tried out one of those meal delivery services, Plated and made a gourmet dinner and dessert together. So that way the focus is on our relationship rather than just buying each other things we don't need." Adventures of a Young Wife

"Our most memorable Valentines Day was a couple years ago when we were in the middle of moving. Due to some unexpected housing frustrations, we were enjoying an extended stay in a hotel with our two large dogs, the UHaul parked out back and hysterical fits of tears while trying to find another suitable home.

We debated going out for a nice dinner but instead settled on ordering two medium pizzas from Dominos and buying a couple six packs of our favorite beer. So we spent the evening sitting in our hotel bed, each with a whole pizza in our lap and bottle of beer in hand and dogs faces in our laps begging for food. If I remember right, I ate my entire pizza myself. You can imagine how attractive I felt that night.

Not our classiest holiday but it has certainly become my favorite. I guess sometimes it's not about having the perfect evening planned but the quality of your time spent together that defines the holiday."- Danielle Keech, Military By Owner & Personal Blog

"One year, we went out to breakfast for our Valentine's Day date because we both had obligations Valentine's Day night (Valentine's Day was on a week day that year)." - Lori

"We were newly married and wanted to get a hotel weekend - but didn't have the funds, so we made a sheet Fort that took over our entire living room, and had pizza under Christmas lights we'd strung up. Hands down my favorite way we've celebrated."- Operation Patiently Waiting

"Our very first date was at this quaint, hole in the wall, mom and pop Italian restaurant...on Valentine's day! Every year for the next 6 years, we went back to the same restaurant, sat at the same table and ate the same delicious meal as we reminisced on our last year together. Then we moved to Germany and I missed our tradition so much that I attempted to recreate our meal. I mean, the whole nine yards, but it just wasn't the same.

So the following year, I get home (the day before Valentine's to throw me off) and my husband had been in cahoots with my best friend back home. She went to "our" restaurant, begged them to freeze prepare our meal, packed it in dry ice and sent it to us all the way in Germany. We had the full nine yards from the soup starter to the side roll to the cheesy tortellini! The only difference was instead of a table stuck in the corner, my husband dimmed the lights, lit some candles and had a bottle of wine on the table! And if you were wondering, yes it was still edible, yes it was delicious and yes it was the most romantic thing my husband could have done!!" - Economical Excursionists

"In lieu of gifts this year and to celebrate with our young son we decided we will take a family vacation to Maui. Just getting to relax, unplug and soak up the sun even though we are stationed in Oahu. I like going on vacations and making memories instead of buy stuff. Planning on BBQing the whole time and just enjoying each other's company!" - Moms Gonna Snap

"We've spent many many Valentine's Days apart, but somehow my hubs always manages to surprise me. One year, he enlisted the help of our oldest son who was in high school at the time. I was at a meeting and came out to find flowers, chocolates, and a giant teddy bear in the front seat of my car. smile emoticon:) Another year, he asked my kids to use multiple boxes of the conversation hearts to create a giant 'heart' on our table and "I love you" for me to see when I woke up smile emoticon:) Though we may be apart and these aren't giant or expensive gestures, it lets me know he's thinking of me and put some thought into it!" - Jen McDonald

Do you have a fun story to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

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