Ten Things to Do for Your Valentine
(that won't cost you an arm & leg)
Auld Lang Snapshot: You've probably got an unused photo album around the house, but you can also pick up a little brag-book album at practically any dollar store. Go through all your pics of you and your darling and make copies of the ones you like best. Write a caption (this can be the date, something funny, or how the picture makes you feel) under each one, put them in the photo album in chronological order, and make the last picture the one you like best along with the caption Happy Valentine's Day.
Bath for Two: Set up your bathroom for a romantic bubble bath for two (candles, soft music, flowers, your favorite beverage, maybe a little plate of nibblies) and invite your honey in to have a soak with you. You know that really great bathtub scene in Bull Durham? Shoot for that. If you don't have a bathtub, offer to share a shower and set up the bedroom for fun after the two of you dry off.
How Do I Love Thee?: Write a poem for your sweetheart using the letters of their name for the first letter of each line (so when you read down it spells out their name.) If you want something more challenging, write the poem so that the first letter of each line spells out a sweet message.
Kisses Hunt: you'll need a pad of Post-It notes, a bag of Hershey kisses, and a few hours to set this up. Start with a Post-it placed where your loved one will see it first thing in the morning, with a clue as to where to find a kiss. The clue should lead them to the next note and a Hershey's kiss. Give them another clue to find the next note and kiss, and repeat as many times as you like until you get to the next-to-last note. That one should have a clue that leads your hunter to you, with directions to kiss what's under the last note. Then put the last note over your mouth (or whatever body part you'd like to have kissed.)
Letter Love: when was the last time you wrote the one you love a real letter? Not e-mail, not a twit, but the kind you need paper and pen for. If you can't think of how to express your feelings, make a list of all the reasons you love your honey. Be as sentimental and mushy as you like.
Major Massage: Have you ever given your better half a really long, slow, thorough full-body massage? This is the perfect day for one. If you're not sure how, take some lotion, have them strip and stretch out face-down, and starting at their feet, rub the lotion into their skin until it disappears. Work your way up to their shoulders, then roll them over and do the same in the reverse direction. If they want to know how they can repay you, hand them the lotion and take off your clothes.
Picnic on Memory Lane: Take your loved one to a romantic outdoor place from your past (the place you first met, first kissed, confessed your feelings, agreed to marry, etc.) to (weather and location permitting) have a picnic.
Spell it Out: While your sweetie is out of the house, get some sidewalk chalk (also something you can buy at most dollar stores), go outside and draw a huge heart in your driveway. Write your sweetie's name in the center of the heart, and surround it with all the reasons you love her/him. You'll probably want to keep it G-rated in case of nosy neighbors or visiting in-laws. An indoor variation is to do the same thing with soap crayons on the wall of your tub or shower (and there you can be more intimate, too.)
Truth or Strip: This is a romantic hybrid of Truth or Dare and Strip Poker. The game is, you ask each other intimate questions, and if the other person doesn't want to answer, they have to take off one article of clothing. Whoever ends up in their birthday suit first has to do what the winner wants for the rest of the night.
Two Feasts: this one is for the stay-at-home parents who don't want to fight the crowds at the restaurants. Make a little Valentine's Day-themed dinner for the kids (mine was always heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and pink lemonade.) Once the kids are down for the night, serve your honey with a dinner version of breakfast in bed, with candles, soft music and maybe that French maid's costume you never had the nerve to wear.
Do you have any ideas of things to do for Valentine's Day that won't cost someone a limb? Let us know in comments.