It’s that time of year again, we’ve cleared away the decked halls and Christmas presents, and now instead of being bombarded with festive adverts of yuletide cheer, we are being sold exotic holidays and shown how to burn off those excess holiday pounds.
The beginning of the year doesn’t have to be filled with the January blues and feelings of doom and gloom! It’s time to start preparing for the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day.
The pressure of Valentine’s Day can sometimes be felt like no other holiday. Couples are expected to show their love through romantic gestures and by showering each other with gifts, restaurants are booked weeks in advance, and flower delivery seems to step into overdrive. Whilst many tend to opt for the giving of flowers, chocolate and jewellery, the most romantic gifts are often those that come out of the blue, and have that personalised touch.
A Restaurant of Your Own
Whilst some might consider dining out to be a romantic option for Valentines, the reality often is an overcrowded restaurant, filled with couples all vying to appear the most in love. So why not try turning your home into your very own restaurant for two? Find out what your sweetheart’s favourite dish is and indulge in some fine food, fine wine or champagne and the intimate atmosphere of just the two of you.
Scavenger for a Day
This is a great surprise for those who want something creative to surprise their loved ones with, plus you can tailor it to your individual memories and experiences. You can place clues in familiar locations, and ask questions that only you and your sweetheart will know, with a surprise present found at each stop. These can all lead to a crescendo moment of romance, whether it directs your valentine to a private dinner somewhere dreamy, or to you stood waiting with a present.
Learn Something New
If you know of something your valentine has always wanted to do, why not treat them to a day of doing just that? Whether it’s a craft they have always been fascinated with, or a class revolving around something they already love doing, you can enjoy it together. You can even try something daring like skydiving or bungee jumping, which will be sure to create a memory you will never forget.
For some of us, Valentines arrives at an inconvenient time when it comes to our finances. Not only is it just one pay cheque after Christmas, it is the day when restaurant prices soar and roses are twice the cost. If you’re expecting your finances to return to order in February and March, you can consider taking out a short term loan and paying it back on payday if you want to something really special. There are, however, some great inexpensive and even free ideas out there, some of which show more attention to detail and can be far more romantic.
Check out your local attractions, from museums and parks to National Trust buildings and monuments, most are free and others only charge a cheap entry fee.
Enjoy an indoor picnic of your favourite treats, washed down with some wine and accompanied by a CD of the songs that remind you of your relationship.
Instead of forking out for an expensive day at the spa why not create your own private pampering zone in your home? Stock up on candles, bubble bath and petals and indulge in a hot bath and some massages.
Louise Jenkins is a finance specialist, writing on topics such as microfinance and payday loans, for more information see