Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

I have to admit straight up that I loved the rant by Nat’s mom on why we should ignore this most commercial of days. She’s not wrong – it’s a retailer heyday but at the same time, if you are celebrating it, there are some ways that we can use the holiday to contribute to the greater good.

Love in the Desert

Love in the Desert

Should you choose to celebrate it, here are a few ways to enjoy the holiday provided by my favorite organization, Local First AZ and a few extra ways, provided by me.

1. Find a unique and special gift at a local boutique.

2. Make a card or valentine greeting from things at home. (Photo love above sent to me by my DH)

3.  Go to the library or local book store together and find a book of love poems – read them aloud right there!

4. Enjoy local theatre or live music.

5.  Pick up some locally made sweets for your date or make your own. Jackie’s caramels look amazing.

6.  Put a drop or two of beet juice (or squish a cochineal) into the kids’ milk to make it pink.

7.  Make your meal red. Have a cherry tomato salad and pasta tossed with marinara. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter on sliced potatoes for a plate full of valentines.

8.  If your budget allows, choose a local independent restaurant for your romantic dinner.

9.  Consider a service date. My 13 year old went to play his violin at an assisted living center. Now THAT’s a valentine.

10. Get fresher flowers from a local flower shop.

Valentine’s Day pays homage to Saint Valentine, a Roman priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. As Claudius forbid his military to marry, St. Valentine carried out marriage ceremonies in secret. His actions and his refusal to abandon his faith caused his beheading on February 14th – a journey of love in the face of hardship and oppression and the reason for Valentine’s Day.

However you spend your day or your money, consider the local merchant who really does see the 14th as an economic opportunity.

Leave a comment

59 Comments

  1. Wow- for someone (not so) down on Valentine’s day, your family sure does celebrate in style. I LOVE your son & husband’s gifts – what a true reflection of the spirit of Saint Valentine!

    Glad you liked the caramels :)

    Reply
    • I haven’t made them yet Jackie but I can practically taste them from your photos. I’m working hard to drop some of 2012’s weight right now and they won’t suit me!

      Reply
  2. Great ideas, Tammy, thanks! I also love the idea of a handwritten love letter.

    Reply
  3. Service date! What a beautiful idea and creates good karma… great suggestions!

    Reply
  4. Great ideas to continue to expose my girls to! Thank you. -renee

    Reply
  5. Lisa H

     /  February 13, 2013

    LOVE your ideas! I’m not big on the holiday, but we do enjoy celebrating quietly. We make a special dinner, I buy desserts for the family and we spend time appreciating each other. The photo is an inspiration, perhaps I can create something similar in my yard!

    Reply
  6. Fresh

     /  February 13, 2013

    Nice ideas Tammy, especially the service day! Our own tradition is hand-made cards, drawn or collaged. No gifts.

    Reply
    • Love them – can never throw them out though! Can you update your gravatar with your blog? It’s always hard for me to get back to you.

      Reply
  7. bigniche

     /  February 13, 2013

    Terrific, Tammy! I like having a day to share Love with those I Love! I want to share your post on my FB page, if it’s okay with you. (I’ll wait to hear.) I’m giving meaningful photos for Valentine’s Day. Also making and selling fun cards at our local The Community Store in Saranac Lake.

    Wish I could comment on your blog directly, but WordPress has made a mess of my login due to someone else’s blog name. Apparently unfixable unless I make a new email account. One of these days when there is nothing else awaiting my attention!

    Happy Valentine’s Day,

    Cris

    Reply
    • Would love it if you would share this! I love your work and saw some of your valentines! I’m sorry about the wordpress issues.

      Reply
  8. Lovely ideas, Tammy. I’ve always celebrated by making a thoughtful, beautiful home-cooked gourmet meal, and I’ve always sent Valentines to all my close family and friends. I see it as more an Agape rather than Eros kind of holiday.

    Reply
  9. We like to just spend time together, so the treat part will be heart shaped cheese ravioli (not mine, Costco) with some spaghetti sauce I put up in the fall. I’m hoping to make a carrot cake with a bit of beets for color. And, since it’s Thursday, it’s Family Game Night and we’ll sit around the table playing a board game.
    Thanks, Tammy!

    Reply
  10. Love #9 – what a great kid!

    Reply
  11. Linda

     /  February 13, 2013

    LOVE what your son did~ That is just wonderful!

    Reply
  12. Absolutely awesome photo Tammy and oh so perfect with all those great ideas :-)

    Reply
  13. katebart

     /  February 13, 2013

    Heading up to the Navajo National Museum to celebrate one of my “kiddos”, who is showcased as a contemporary female artist. Making celebratory bundts for her reception using red fruits and all my heart-shaped pans! Hearts to all at the Hacienda!

    Reply
  14. Love, love, love the service idea! I’ll definitely be taking a page from your book when Nora is a little older.

    Reply
    • My boys have grown up in a service culture and they “get” it. I’m very fortunate. It’s important for them to learn this from an early age – happy to pass along any and all!

      Reply
  15. Like Halloween, Valentine’s Day just isn’t as big here as it is in the US. Quite a relief really! xx

    Reply
  16. Good ideas, Tammy. We don’t go overboard but we did buy hand-dipped chocolates from a local chocolatier. YUM!

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  17. We don’t do the commercial aspect of the day, but we always go out for dinner as February is an important month for us :)

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  18. You are the best at always helping us think of others we could help, while celebrating. :) This year Aubrey went on a Valentine card making marathon. So many people around us are getting several of those. She also had a candle making kit and we made some white, red and pink candles to share too. :)

    Reply
  19. Wonderful ideas to give valentines to the world! And I’m sure your son’s concert was much appreciated. How special for him to share his gift of music too!

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  20. I am so impressed with your 13-year-old. You must be so proud!

    Reply
  21. Teach someone a new skill. I explained the mechanics of a wheel and demonstrated how to spin to a new acquantaince and her husband on an antique spinning wheel passed down through the family. Spinning is esoteric, but crocheting, cooking a favorite dish, folding a unique piece of origami, learning a new dance, tuning up a bike, starting seeds, etc are all alternatives. I particularly liked your ideas of experiences instead of things…

    Reply
    • Experiences are what we remember – not things. Love that you’re teaching. My son left me a valentine that said, “thanks for the life lessons”! Ha!

      Reply
  22. I am just so grateful for this post! It comes at such a sad time, when one of my favorite Tucson’s markets, the infamous 17th street market, closes its doors. It’s been really sad to see it struggle over the years and lose it’s downtown customers.

    It’s just so important, especially for a state like Arizona to reach out and support their local businesses and and perfectly fitting for Valetine’s Day.

    I heard you guys lost a great central local farmers market storefront in downtown Phoenix a few years ago?

    Reply
  23. Your suggestions might actually reconcile with Valentine’s Day which I usually boykott. And I usually was on my own anyway. :P This year I’m not, but I still didn’t do anything special because the husband was away from me and I was sick with a migraine and in bed. :D

    Reply
  24. I love the service date idea, Tammy…some top tips today!

    Reply
  25. Next year I’ll have to try the pink milk for my kids!

    Reply
  26. Love that your 13 year old played the violin on V-Day, that is just wonderful!

    The Chef and I agreed to buy presents, but only because we both wanted a book. His cost more, so in the same amount, I got a book and the curious lists journal. We only exchanged gifts Saturday morning however, he was at work all day Thur. and Fri.
    So there you have it. A day of love, celebrated on the weekend, without seeing each other at all on the 14th. You know what I love about this? If it wasn’t our weekend off, it could’ve been any other weekend, really, not necessarily this past one, close to V-Day ;)

    Reply
  27. Fabulous ideas!

    Reply
  28. A beautiful way to celebrate this special occasion. People forget nowadays what this day means. It is a day to let others know how we feel. To express our thanks and love with a pure heart. Whether it’s a homemade card, a baked heart shape cake or a trip at the beach, what matters is the sincerest of intentions. Thanks for sharing this post. It helps us appreciate more magic of this day.

    Reply
  29. Great list!

    Reply

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