The Covid 19 pandemic has put a damper on many things worldwide, especially on the way in which we Trinbagonians lime and spend. With Valentine’s Day a mere 5 days away, is it even worth the mention when your funds are low and you’re thinking of breaking the piggy bank?
If you’re like us here at izzso and you’re worried that your funds can’t stretch far enough to give your beloved a Valentine’s Day to remember, don’t worry! Diamonds and a five star meal are not a necessity for a meaningful Valentine’s Day.
Besides, your loved one might not even like those types of gifts or activities! You can show that you care by putting together small, affordable gifts.
We have compiled 12 options for you to ponder as we celebrate our loved ones on a smaller dime:
1. If your loved one cannot get enough of physical touch (and this is their love language), planning an at-home spa day is a surprisingly affordable and intimate way to spend Valentine’s Day. You can plan an intimate evening with some how-to massage videos on YouTube and some scented oils, taking it in turns to give mind-blowing relaxation massages. You can really set the scene with dim lighting, fresh towels and robes, relaxing music, and scented candles.
2. Make a mixtape. Well, nowadays it’ll be more of a playlist, but the idea is the same: organize a list of songs that reminds you of them, takes them back to a special memory like a vacation, or is just plain romantic. You can put it on a CD for them to play in their car, or share the playlist on their Spotify account to listen to at any time.
3. Valentine’s Day is about the ones you love so get the kids to help make a meal. Eat by candlelight as a family, then after the kids have gone to bed, have a fancy dessert for just the two of you!
4. Gifting someone you love a photo of the two of you together is always special, and incredibly thoughtful, too. If you’ve never given your partner a photo of the two of you together that you love, why not now? Creating a mini gallery wall full of photos of you and your partner that you’ve hand-picked will not only make their day, but it’s something you both can enjoy for years to come.
Don’t want to go to the trouble of hanging a dozen frames on the wall, or can’t choose the right location? No problem. This can be part of your Valentine’s Day day night. Surprise your loved one with all the framed photos and then spend the evening together hanging them up, talking about the memories they represent over a pizza and a bottle of wine.
5. Give them vouchers for nice deeds from you. This can include foot massages, one week of cooking or dishwashing with no questions asked, or a promise for that special thing they’ve always wanted in the bedroom.
Design the vouchers on your computer yourself. You can use a business card template, or just cut out the vouchers into heart shapes once they’re printed. Write “redeemable at any time, no expiration date” on them for a cute touch.
6. Give them just one rose instead of a whole bouquet. One rose means “you’re the one”, so don’t be embarrassed about not giving your special one an entire garden. Hang the rose upside down on the wall when it starts to wilt because it will dry up and you can keep it for years to come.
Now a single rose could still be a little pricy on Valentine’s Day, so shop around if that’s the way you want to go.
7. Gift them a small potted plant. You can spend about TT$25 for a small potted plant, plus it will last longer than cut flowers. They can keep it on their desk at work as a reminder of how much you love them. Provide instructions on how to properly take care of the plant to help it live a long life and bloom often.
Succulents, like cacti and aloe vera, are great options since they are low-maintenance and live for a long time. Plus, cacti can grow flowers if they have proper lighting, soil, and watering!
8. Have a picnic. Prepare a special meal of crackers, cheeses, fruits, meats, and dessert. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Bring that bottle of wine you’ve had sitting in your kitchen for a while. Use an old blanket or towel to sit on, and carry your food around in a container you already have, like a backpack or suitcase. You can have a picnic indoors or in your backyard if you don’t feel like traveling anywhere far, especially now with Covid19.
9. If you really want to stand out, a homemade card is the way to go. It may seem really old-fashioned and Trini men might scoff at the idea, but women interviewed by Reddit about their Valentine’s Day desires specifically said they appreciate handmade cards because they’re personal. Making your own card allows you to say how you feel about your sweetheart in your own words — a gesture that the fanciest card at the stationer’s store can’t make for you. And as a bonus, it costs practically nothing.
10. If the man or woman in your life is an avid reader, a book is always a fun gift. But even if he or she is not, the right book can still score a big hit with them. When you give your guy a book that reflects his interests, you show you really get him.
For example, if your significant other has read all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works half a dozen times, give him the first book in a new epic fantasy series, such as “The Witcher.” For the female romantic there’s the Bridgerton book series. If he’s a golfer, get him a collection of stories about his favorite game. And if he’s passionate about getting out of debt, get him one of the best personal finance books on the subject.
Books don’t have to be budget-busters. New hardcovers can cost a pretty penny, but there are lots of other formats to choose from, including used books, paperbacks, e-books, and audiobooks. Secondhand books often sell for literally pennies on Amazon.
11. A New Whatever. You know those old worn-out things your husband or boyfriend has never gotten around to replacing? Do it for him. If you save him the trouble of shopping for a mundane item like towels or windshield wipers, he’ll be genuinely pleased. One Reddit poster stresses that if you replace a clothing item, make sure you get exactly what he has now, or he won’t wear it.
12. Sex… In a 2019 survey covered in the Sun-Sentinel, 90% of men said what they wanted most for Valentine’s Day was sex. It was one of the top answers on Reddit and in Cosmo too. So if the man in your life is like most men, the best thing to give him for Valentine’s Day is you.
Several men in Cosmo and on Reddit got a little more specific about the particular activities they’d like best. Some were a bit graphic, but a few milder ones were backrubs and having their partner cook dinner dressed only in an apron. Others mentioned a general wish for something “kinky.” Since you know your man best, you’re the best person to decide what would make a Valentine’s Day encounter extra special for him. Would he like you to dress up in your sexiest underwear? Bring chocolate sauce into the bedroom? Use your imagination and your knowledge of him to decide.
Bonus…A final wish that many in Reddit expressed was neither a physical gift nor a specific experience. What they wanted most was to have their partners show some appreciation for them and their relationship. They said feeling truly loved, wanted, and needed was better than any little keepsake their partner could wrap in a box.