By Laura Bailey, Crosswalk.com
Valentine’s Day, for my husband?
If this is the first thought that ran through your head when you saw the title of this article, I get it! I’ve been there; I am there! Long gone are the day of dinners that didn’t have a time limit, romantic evenings that didn’t involve moving mountains, and the only surprise was a toddler who landed in your bed at 2 am.
Or maybe you are in a different season of life; you feel you've been married for longer than you’ve been alive and struggle to think of something new. Perhaps you want to celebrate with your husband and sincerely want him to know how much he is loved and cared for, but financially, you all are strapped.
Valentine’s Day gets a bad wrap, in my opinion. While you can undoubtedly spend bundles of money, find yourself equating your self-worth by the number of roses in your bouquet, or stress yourself over the need to gift life-size boxes of chocolates, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to look that way. We can use this day as a reminder to show our husbands some extra TLC in whatever way we decide to show love!
Check out eight fun, affordable ideas for your husband this Valentine’s Day:
1. Decorate a Card
Recently, I came across these extra large Valentine’s cards. I’ll admit, my first thought was, “how fun, my girls would love these!” but then my mind went to my husband. Use the space to write down everything you love about your hubby. Save the card for next year and put it out with your other Valentine's decorations! You could write a memory for the number of Valentine’s days you have spent together. Other fun ideas: make an acrostic with this name (Short first name? That’s okay, throw in the middle name, too!). You could also list the top ten favorite things you enjoy doing with your husband, ten trips you want to take with your spouse, or even just ten ways he makes you smile!
2. Plan an At-home Date Night
Restaurants are packed on Valentine’s Day, and then there’s the task of finding a sitter or something to wear that doesn’t have an elastic waist. Instead of going out, grab the kids a pizza, and invoke an early bedtime. Once the kids are down, enjoy some one-on-one time with your spouse. The meal? Whatever you want it to be! If you’re lucky to live in a mild climate, make a picnic and take it outdoors. Does your husband love Italian? Whip up some bolognese, toast a baguette, and grab a salad mix, and viola; it’s like you’re in Little Italy. Try grilling; it is low-maintenance and relatively stress-free. Snag the meat of your choice and some vegetables, and call it a night.
3. Make a Favorite Things Basket
This Valentine’s Day put together a basket of all your husband’s favorite things; it can be anything from food to his favorite socks. I typically like to include a variety of items, so don’t think too hard about this; you can easily add items that he both enjoys and that you would typically buy. For instance, I always include coffee but will grab a fun-themed cup. I tend to balance out sweet and salty, but do you have a guy who loves chocolate? Create a basket that would make Hershey’s proud! This is an excellent time to add items that he enjoys or needs but may not necessarily think to buy for himself. You could also add one or two gift cards to his favorite food places.
4. Make a Coupon Book
This is tried and true; a good coupon book has never failed me in the gift department. My husband still has the first book I made him when we were dating, made with markers and leftover Christmas ribbon. Thankfully, I’ve learned of an excellent resource filled with templates you can personalize, Canva. They have many free options, but you can buy the template if you find something you just have to have for a small fee. Should you decide to go to the Canva route, they have provided numerous ideas for coupons. However, if you prefer to create your own, here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing. I have found that breakfast in bed, a massage, a free night (think a night out with the boys or giving him a night in and you take the kids out), or a chore swap are always winners.
5. Try Something New
Especially for couples who have been together for a while, we can get into a date night rut. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dinner at my favorite restaurant, but why not use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to try something new? Consider signing up for a cooking class, try out dancing lessons, or enjoy an interactive dinner and show. Get out of your comfort zone and see a play instead of a movie, race go-karts and eat at a whole-in-the-wall restaurant; the possibilities are endless! You could always surprise him by engaging in his favorite sport, heading to the batting cages, going out to the golf course, or venturing to the bowling alley.
6. Watch the Sun Rise or Set
My husband and I are complete opposites; he is a night owl, and I am an early bird. Nothing is better than waking up in a dark, quiet house and waiting to see the sun come up. My husband, conversely, enjoys nothing more than working outside until the sun has finally gone to bed—he thinks there’s nothing prettier than a sunset. Since dinner, baths, and bedtime typically fall during the evening, I don’t often take the time to enjoy this time with my husband. However, make it a point to watch the sunrise or sunset (whichever they prefer) with your spouse. Make it extra memorable by making their drink of choice, and tell them five things you love about them.
7. Have a Game Night
Dust off the deck cards, pull out the old favorites, and enjoy quality time with your spouse. Don’t have any games in the house? Check out your local thrift store, antique shop, or donation spot; you can find them for a few dollars. Want to make it a bit more personal? Make a scavenger hunt around your house, hiding his favorite sweet treats or a note as a “hidden treasure.”
8. Watch a Movie in Bed
Pop a big bag of popcorn, snuggle up with your husband, and watch a movie in bed. For some people, watching TV in bed may not be all that special. But you can create a romantic atmosphere: grab a few candles, fluff the pillows, and make sure he has his favorite snack. Let him choose the movie, and try your best not to fall asleep (or maybe that’s just my struggle!).
Sometimes we can overcomplicate what makes our men happy; most men are content with a stomach full of good food and some extra love from their wives. This Valentine’s Day, I hope you find a way to shower your husband with extra love, and remember it doesn’t have to be over the top; just a little effort goes a long way to show you care!
Photo Credit: ©Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash