Once you’ve gotten through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s, January can feel like a very welcome holiday break—but you’re not in the clear yet. Before you know it, Cupid will be knocking on your door and reminding you that Valentine’s Day is almost here. But who has the time, energy, or money to make this holiday as spectacular as the ones you just celebrated? Don’t give into the pressure. Instead, have a Valentine’s Day that’s totally memorable and low-key, bringing it all back to the real reason Valentine’s Day is celebrated at all: you’re in love!
There’s absolutely no reason to go into debt for the sake of February 14th. After all, when you’re in love every day can feel like Valentine’s Day, and we promise the local French bistro won’t come knocking on your door to ask why you didn’t make a reservation. With a little creativity and some advanced planning, you can have a fantastic Valentine’s Day that you’ll both really enjoy, all from the comfort of your home! Here’s how to make it happen.
Don’t wait until February 13th to start planing. Sit down with your S.O. a week or so in advance and talk about how you want to mark the occasion at home. Would you rather snuggle up with a few movies? Spend the evening in the kitchen together? Order your favorite takeout? Run a bath and relax? Decide what your perfect stay-at-home date looks like, then get planning!
If you’re going to be cooking together, make a shopping list and head to the store a few days before. You won’t be in a hurry to get home and get into the kitchen, so you’ll have more time to browse the aisles for an exciting ingredient or peruse the selection at your local wine shop. And hey, if they’re out of something you need, you’ll have time to try another store or come back the next day!
You don’t have to leave the house to really be pampered and taken care of. Instead, find a pro who will come to you. Hire a private chef to take over the cooking duties and create a custom menu. Many also offer mixology (hello, pre-dinner cocktails!), wine pairings, and dessert, so you can have a real restaurant experience, whether you’re dressed up or in your PJs. You could also find a mobile spa service that will set up a couple’s massage right in your living room for some serious relaxation.
Set the Scene
What makes a Valentine’s Day dinner different from your regular evening regimen? Ambiance! Put together a playlist of songs you love, whether you go old school with Frank Sinatra and Etta James, focus on your favorite jazz tunes, or mix in a little country. Don’t forget your first dance song! Next, light some candles—they’re just as effective at creating romance at home as they were at your wedding reception. Finally, actually set the table! Pull out those beautiful plates and wine glasses you got as wedding gifts, put fresh flowers on the table, and even consider cloth napkins (we love easy, machine-washable varieties).
You might have to head to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start Valentine’s Day as soon as your alarm goes off. Spend a little extra time together, enjoying breakfast and a cup of coffee. If you’ve got time, put together a delicious meal of eggs, toast, and fruit. Tight for time? Grab pastries from the local bakery the night before, pop them in the oven for a few minutes to warm up, then pretend you’re on a European vacation instead of heading to the office. Better yet, bring thermoses of coffee and the pastries to your bedroom and get back under the covers for a few minutes for an easy breakfast in bed.
Make a Night of It
There’s no one waiting for the later seating at your dining room table, so make the most of it! Start with your favorite cocktail and little nibbles in the living room, then head to the dining room for dinner. Savor your meal, then retreat to the couch for your favorite movie or head to the bathroom for a luxurious and romantic soak. And don’t forget dessert! Enjoy some chocolates or your favorite sweet treats with a nightcap, then climb into bed. What happens there? Well, that’s up to you.