When it comes to Valentine's Day . . .

Hearts. Flowers. Kisses. Chocolate. You know the drill, people. Now I know that some people aren't into Valentine's Day and that's okay. True, it's a holiday where people spend way too much money and it would be better if your significant other showed you he/she loved you all year round in surprising ways rather than the one time per year that flowers are marked up like one hundred percent. I know, I know. But I like Valentine's Day. And I don't think you have to spend a lot of money to make it special. And since I want to be my husband's valentine, I'm good with hearts and kisses and cards and chocolate and all the love. Bring it on. (And for the record, Jeff is great about doing sweet things for me all during the year. But he's also smart enough to know that on Happy Hearts Day, he better let his girl know she's still the One. ;)

So since I'm a lovey kind of girl, I like to do creative things for Jeff for Valentine's Day. I've already got this year planned out, but I can't say anything yet or that might spoil the suprise. But before I decided, I was searching the Internet and asking people for ideas. So I wanted to share some here for people looking for ideas to share the love.
1. A card is a must. It can absolutely be handmade or a little note or a small poem you copied--but you've gotta have something. Sweet cards are good, but look for one that fits your honey's personality. Funny cards, romantic cards, silly cards--whatever.

If you're doing valentines for your child's class, save a couple and sign them from you to your spouse and hide them in places he'll find them (his closet, his car, the freezer, his shoes, etc.) And definitely send an "I love you" text first thing!
2. For our first Valentine's Day, Jeff bought me a beautiful ring with a gold heart. I gave him the book, Guess How Much I Love You? That book is super sweet and has been special to us ever since. I highly recommend it for your sweetheart.
3. Flowers are great, but they can be really expensive at Valentine's, so don't feel like you have to go that route. Chocolates are good, too. (I'm a heartbox of chocolates girl myself. It's so easy for Jeff! He always knows that this is what I want!)
4. Decorating someone's room or office space is a good idea, too. One year before Jeff and I were married, I went to his apartment while he was at work and decorated his bedroom wall for Valentine's. (I had to look for this picture in one of our old photo albums!) Good memories. That year, he made a candlelight dinner for us. Very sweet. If you're staying home, you could decorate your bedroom. This takes time, but could be fun. Christmas lights are a good idea. Candles, flower petals, old photos, music, champagne--yada, yada, yada.
5. Have dinner at home and just dress up your table to make it special. (Make or buy a special dessert!)
6. I read lots of things online about outdoor things like picnics and such. But I live in Colorado, people, and it's too cold for that. But if that would work for you, go for it. (Come to think of it, an indoor picnic would be fun.)
7. I've mentioned before that one year I made Jeff a CD called the "Jeff and Brandy Soundtrack" with all our favorite songs from when we were dating and our wedding and that sort of thing. He loved it and still listens to it.
8. Last year I made him a T-shirt. (Idea came from a How I Met Your Mother episode.) This was a big hit with him. He wears it to play basketball.
9. Here's an idea I got from a friend, create a book about the two of you. There are websites where you can do this like www.bookbyyou.com. I think this sounds hilarious and so fun!
10. Create a personalized crossword puzzle for your partner. Use all kinds of things special to the two of you--your wedding date, favorite TV shows, dream vacations, and such. You can find free websites to do this.
11. Create a Top Ten list. Jeff and I did this one year. We each made a Top Ten list of the things we love and appreciate about each other. Then we went out for dinner and exchanged lists and read them out loud. This was both funny and really sweet. (You might be surprised by the things he appreciates about you!)
12. Create a scrapbook or photo album with highlights from your life together. You can make one or create one online somewhere like Shutterfly. (You could also make a shadowbox with special items.)
13. Create a gift basket for your partner.
14. If dinner out can't work because you have kids, try a breakfast date or lunch date.
15. If you're keeping it simple, maybe just buy one of those special cupcakes, wrapped. Or go to one of those specialty bundt cake bakeries and get a bundt cake wrapped. Those are adorable gifts.
16. If you know it's going to be a family thing where you are home with the kids, you can still have a really fun holiday. Everybody exchange Valentine's and watch a sweet movie like Lady and the Tramp!

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