If you’ve somehow managed to avoid stepping inside a drugstore or almost any store in the last two months, then the Valentine’s Day reminder may not have been pounded obtrusively into your head. While some of us tend to think of Valentine’s Day as a made-up holiday, it actually has extensive historical roots, and they may as well be thorny roots since you can really mess up if you skip this holiday.
The general rule is that something is better than nothing, but you want something that says love, right? If you’ve procrastinated to the point of all-reservations-taken duress, there’s still time to create a memorable day. Let your sweetheart know you care with a simple, but unexpected offering. There are options for every personality.
For Romantics and Readers
For Kindle users, gift an eBook from amazon.com. It’s also possible to read Kindle books on other devices like the iPad. For some eBooks, delivery is automatic as long as you get your Valentine’s email address correct! If you’re too rushed to scroll around the Kindle library, pick one of these Kindle editions: A Valentine by Edgar Allan Poe (it’s not spooky) or SpongeBob’s Secret Valentine by David Lewman (come on, it’s funny and cute!).
Or go for an old-fashioned paper book. If you’re up for overnight shipping charges or can find it locally, Ted Kooser’s Valentines is a sweet, accessible collection of poems the former U.S. poet laureate of the United States mailed out to friends and fans on Valentine’s Day each year.
Surprise your Valentine with an online shopping spree for shoes, bags and clothes. Select a zappos.com e-gift certificate delivered via email within 24 hours. I know some people will argue that gift certificates aren’t personal, but avid shoppers like the freedom of choice. Besides, kisses are personal. Give those too.
Cook a dinner for two. Before you back away leaking of intimidation, remember that a sincere effort is worth more than a crowded restaurant. Even if you don’t own a cookbook, you can plan a nice dinner. For recipes, try out some cooking apps like Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything or the free DinnerSpinner from allrecipes.com. Or just go online to The Pioneer Woman (men are allowed) for an impressive collection of soups, main courses and desserts. You don’t have to be a cowboy or cowgirl, but if you’re looking for Marlboro Man dishes, blog author Ree has those too.
Now that you’re hopefully feeling somewhat better about procrastinating with your Valentine’s Day planning, here’s a tidbit to impress your sweetheart: the oldest Valentine still in existence today is dated 1415! It’s a Valentine poem written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans. According to the History channel, Charles sent the poem to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after his capture in battle. If Charles can create a successful Valentine under duress, you can too.