In just a few days, the United States will be decked out in red. There will be cut-out hearts in every window, cards and flowers will be out of stock, you’ll need reservations for every restaurant in town. It will be your typical Valentine’s Day.
But it doesn’t have to be.
The time of buying a dozen roses and a teddy bear is over. Heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates are a thing of the past. This is a call for creativity, people. It is time for something different.
Flowers and candy have become obvious. Instead of being gifts, they are clichés. The magic of the holiday has been lost — it is no longer about celebrating love, it’s been commercialized and men and women alike have been brainwashed into buying the same things every year. Do you remember that simpler time, in grade school, where you would do literally anything for a Hershey’s kiss and a paper Valentine with an “XOXO” signature at the bottom?
Yes, women will still want flowers. Men still want that watch or the cologne. But there are little, inexpensive ways to personalize that gift. Bring out the glitter and the construction paper and make your own card, complete with your own words to express how you feel. Light a few candles in every room. Instead of going out, attempt to make dinner for the two of you.
It is gestures like those that personalize the holiday. It comes down to letting your partner know you care, and while Hallmark cards and flowers show good intentions, they need to be accompanied by something — anything — that lets your partner know that you did this for them, not because you were obligated to.
So throw back to the early ‘90s and make your girl a mixed tape. Serve inventive cocktails in the good glassware. Make your man his favorite dinner or scour the local galleries or antique shops for a unique and special something. If you are buying gifts, get ones that have meaning behind them. You want something heart shaped? Tailor your morning pancakes, then add pink food dye just for fun.
Don’t go for the newest line of jewelry or the latest stuffed animal, make something; create something. Put your personalized stamp on a holiday that is celebrated by every couple across the nation. Make the person in your life remember why you are with them, why they are special. Because when the clock strikes midnight and it is officially Feb. 15, when all the heart cut-outs and chocolates are gone, you will have only each other.
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.