Easy Out-of-the-Box ideas for Valentines Day

Are you like me, and roll your eyes at all the commercials for jewelry and fancy dinners for Valentine’s Day? It’s like all the brand new cars with big red bows on them at Christmas time. Completely ridiculous for most people I know. So let’s talk about the gifts that really work!


I’m not at all opposed to using a holiday to have a good meal. It might be a chance to go out, but let’s not forget that the restaurants are offering special prices and upselling as much as they can, too. 

Time to scan the sales a week or so ahead. Find that bottle of wine, or whatever on sale. Or use this as an excuse for a pricier bottle (although to be fair, I often like the cheaper ones just as much if not more).

Think about the whole meal. What fresh vegetables are on sale? Is there a special appetizer that you can make with this? Soup? Brussel sprouts wrapped in bacon, drizzled with maple syrup? So many possibilities!  

Now consider the main meal. Seafood bisque? Roasted trout? Prime rib? See what is on sale and something that you don’t make every week or so. Now make some special sides. Homemade bread or rolls is actually pretty easy (check out these pins for inspiration) and completely change the mood. What other sides? Roasted vegetables seem a bit fancy, but are so super simple.

Homemade steak and potatoes with roasted brussell sprouts.


Let’s talk about gifts. It’s always handy when you can choose a gift that the person wants and needs. But this may lead to some weird gifts. That’s ok! Does he want a dehydrator to make his own beef jerky? Then do it! Does she need a new helmet for skiing, but is too cheap to buy herself something – do it! A gift certificate for their favorite seed catalog? Sure, do it!!

As I talked about in this post, the most Oooh’s and Aaaaah’s that I received for a gift were these photo blankets. I got mine during a sale from Snapfish, but there are a number of companies that do it. This blanket shows the most serene location I know, a lake we often visit. The first one unwrapped Christmas morning, was of my youngest son and daughter on the ripsticks on our road.  

If you are looking for unique ideas, try a craft fair (which are mostly online this year) like this one. There are so many items here for men and women (kids too) that you should be able to find something for anyone!

Sometimes the best gift isn’t tangible at all, but an activity. Covid has created restrictions on many outings to museums and such. But you could still take a walk or hike. Go skiing for the first time. Walk to where you had your first date or first met. Grab some picnic foods and stream a comedy show under the stars. Be creative!

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com


There are all sorts of unique wrapping ideas. Last Easter for baskets, and this past Christmas for stockings we used our totes that we sell. I also used our totes for gift bags for the grandparents. 

You can also go to the dollar store for a pretty pillowcase to use for wrapping. They often have some seasonal designs, and of course, the pillowcase is eco-friendly as it can be used for years for its original purpose. 

Pinterest has great ideas for alternative wrapping using burlap, fabric, paper, cardboard, even paper plates!

How are you celebrating the day? Are you going for the Covid version of the standard Dinner Date or for something more personal and unique? They are both great options, what do you prefer?


  1. My wife and I have our anniversary just before Christmas, followed by Christmas, our oldest’s birthday January 7th, my wife’s birthday January 29th, and my birthday February 9th. Valentines day just seemed like a bit of overkill to us, so we changed it a bit about 10 years ago. That was probably the best one, but ever since, she and I make a fancy dinner at home for our kids (then we only had 3 – we now have 6). That year, we dressed all formal and escorted them to the candlight dinner & served it on our best dishes etc. We don’t always do as fancy, but its become a bit of a family tradition for us to show them on Valentines day how much we love them.

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