I admit, although I'm not really the mush-gushy type I do catch a bit of the romance but around this time of the year. I think about how we can make a special day/night/weekend for ourselves and celebrate us. I envision candles, flowers, soft music and surf and turf.
I'm quickly snapped back to reality when bullets whiz by my head. No, not that kind, this kind. Then I check The Hubs work schedule. Sure enough, this is the year. It happens every other year and it's a royal mood killer. As I scan the little green and yellow squares that indicate “days on/days off” my visions stop dancing like sugar plums when I see he works Valentine's Day…and the day before…and the day after. In fact, he works every weekend in February.
Poof! Back to reality.
Surely, I'm not the only one with a family work schedule that is not your normal Monday through Friday 9 to 5? What do we do, the rest of us who can't make it to Weekend To Remember, or take advantage of special weekend packages available this time of year?
We have to get practical, that's what we do. It's what we're best at and it's okay! Celebrating your marriage and your relationship does not have to be over the top spectacular every single time. In fact, we should celebrate our marriages in practical ways all throughout the year because practical is life and life happens, every day. In fact, I have told my husband a few times, do not buy me roses on Valentine's. $50 for a dozen roses that will wither and die in a ten days (if they make it that long). I'm am blessed by a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store check out. For me, it's the thought, not the price tag.
Practical Valentine's Tips
Simple Date Ideas
When money is a factor in your Valentine's celebration you need to get creative. Money is not an excuse to stop dating your spouse. Here are some fun and simple date ideas that won't break the bank. And if you're really stuck on options, here are 50 date ideas that you can incorporate in your practical Valentine's Day celebration.
Remember, Valentine's Day is just another day in the grand scheme of life. You don't have to celebrate on February 14th to have a special and memorable occasion and you don't need to spend gobs of money. Keep it simple and heartfelt.
Ladies, showing your husband love does not need to be complicated. My husband has back pain on and off and he loves me to rub is back. Simple, yet an act of love.
Simple Dinners for Two
If you can't afford the cost or the time to have a whole weekend alone, arrange for the kids to go to a friend's for the evening and create a simple dinner for two. Enjoy each other's company, have dinner, maybe play a game. This one is good for a few laughs, and then go get the kids before bath and bedtime. Here are some simple dinner ideas:
Homemade Burger Helper – I know what you're thinking. A skillet meal for Valentine's? Yes. Make a beautiful salad and Loaded Potato Soup and you've got a great meal. Light some candles and pair it with a glass of Zinfandel and you've got an easy meal.
If you're the one who is working, why not try a crockpot meal? I can't say enough about this cookbook. I have some of Stacy's meals in my monthly meal plan rotation. You can even make an amazing chocolate cake dessert for your hubby right in the crockpot! I promise this book will not disappoint!
If you want something interesting here's a great fondue.
Valentine's As a Family
If you absolutely have no sitter options, or you want to do Valentine's as a family, consider some of these cute craft ideas and let the kids help make dinner. Our five-year-old loves to help in the kitchen and there's a super simple cheesy popover recipe he can assemble himself, without the over part, of course. You can read more about where I got that recipe with video instruction here. He basically learned it himself watching the video!
Younger kids love crafts. Set aside time in your practical Valentine's Day celebration to make these cute salt dough scripture heart. They look like candy hearts but they are so much better!
These cute mustache Valentine cards are a great free printable your kids can use too.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a special day with your spouse to celebrate your life together. It's healthy to spend time as a couple but the notion that Valentine's Day must be the ultimate expression of your love for one another is not practical or biblical. We're not called to pick one day to really love or respect our spouse, we're called to do it all day, year after year. So this Valentine's if you're not doing something over-the-top it's okay. Love your spouse and enjoy your practical Valentine's Day with the rest of us.