While some love it and others hate it, Valentine’s Day has the potential to be one of the most memorable holidays you share with your sweetheart, friends or even family. Traditional gifts like flowers and chocolate are nice, but a week later, the flowers are wilting and the chocolate is long gone. With a little creativity it’s easy to plan a memorable day that will show that special girl in your life just what she means to you. Stick with smaller gifts paired with a fun activity, and you’ll both be cherishing the memory of Valentine’s Day 2011 for years to come.
For: The Movie Buff
If you’re looking to share the evening with a film fanatic, skip the usual “dinner and a movie.” Instead, plan a night in and turn your living room into a movie theater. Create an at-home movie kit, complete with her favorite movies, popcorn, candy and anything else she loves. Don’t have time to make one yourself? Check out CarePackages.com for some pre-made assortments of movie theater favorites ($25-$55).
For: The Amateur Chef
You know the girl I’m talking about. For the girl who loves to bake and is always got her TiVo ready for Rachel Ray or Paula Deen, check out Target’s Heart Shaped Mixing Bowl Set ($14.99). These adorable bowls are perfect for mixing up yummy brownies or cakes, and they are much more cheerful than your typical stainless steel bowls. Spend the day with her in the kitchen (Note to guys out there: Yes, this means get in the kitchen with her! I promise it’ll be fun.), mixing up all sorts of delicious recipes. Not only does it provide great bonding time, but you’ll both get to devour the baked goods after they're finished.
For: The Tech Lover
If your girl is first in line for the latest gadget, then look into this Kate Spade iPad cover ($85). What makes this cover any different than the hundreds of others out there? The classified ads on the cover are for all sorts of fun, new activities, from French lessons to Flemenco dancing. Have your girl pick out her favorite, and go do it.
For: The Music Lover
For those people in our life who love all things musical and worship Rolling Stone, these album covers from Urban Outfitters ($15.00) are a great gift. While it may not seem like much to begin with, explain to your date that the gift comes with an all expenses paid date to their favorite record store. Make the trip, and have a fun-filled day of record sifting and laughter.
For: The Inner Geek
Every once in a while, you find that girl who takes you by surprise and is a closeted Star Trek fan or has an obsession with comic books. If your friend or girlfriend is the same way, make her breakfast in bed, with a slight personal twist. These Star Wars Heroes and Villains Pancake Molds from Williams-Sonoma ($19.95) will not only make her smile, but will be a gift she can use over and over again. Plus, she surely won’t forget to credit you for making breakfast.
For: The Kid at Heart
Remember back in fifth grade when Valentine’s Day meant buying those little Disney Princess or Spiderman cards and giving them to everyone in your class? Simply put, channel your inner fifth grader. For the girl who’s a kid at heart, check out Target or Wal-mart for fun Valentine’s (ranging from $1-$3 per pack), but address all of them to your sweetheart. It’s a simple gesture, but can mean a lot. Spend the rest of your day at your childhood hangout, whether it’s the park or that vintage roller skating rink.
For: The Girl on the Go
For the girl who is always on the run, take Valentine’s Day to relax. Websites like SpaFinder.com not only locate spas near you, but also offer coupons and deals, so you don’t have to spend a fortune. This is especially great for a group of girls who can celebrate their friendship with brunch followed by a massage. Some spas even offer group discounts for 5 or more people. So if you’re always running around, take some time off to breathe this Valentine’s Day.
For: The Shopaholic
It’s fair to say that a majority of women love to shop. So if your Valentine would love nothing better than searching for the perfect pair of shoes, make her a coupon book. No, not the kind of coupon book that includes things like “15 percent off at Neiman Marcus.” (Although, she might like that too.) At AmericanGreetings.com, you can make your own Valentine’s Day themed coupon book for your loved one. With a little DIY skill, you can make things like “One free day at the mall,” or “One visit to Nordstrom without any price complaining.“ This can mean a lot to a girl who begins to feel guilty around the fifteenth time she asks you to go shopping with her- just make sure to throw in a few, more romantic coupons in there as well.
— By Kristy Shaulis, University of Illinois