Just as all countries are unique from the rest of the world, America prides itself in being different in some pretty big ways. We’re set in our traditions and it would surprise many to find out that the rest of the world doesn’t practice the same everyday tasks we do. Take a look at the interesting cultural differences between many Americans and Europeans.
Valentine’s Day can be interesting when you’re the type of person who considers picking up cough medicine a “romantic gesture.” I‘ve had a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day for my entire adult life. My frustration lies with the pressure to find the perfect gift. When did it become necessary to buy cards, flowers and jewelry just to show that you love someone?
That said … I secretly love Valentine’s Day. It’s great that we have a day to make sure we’re letting our loved ones know how much we appreciate them. In fact, I love Valentine’s Day so much, I can’t limit my appreciation to just a significant other.
I spend 40+ hours a week at work; don’t my friends at work deserve some recognition? And when I’m mad at my significant other over something silly, my girlfriends are always there – should they be excluded on Valentine’s Day just because our relationship isn’t romantic? I think there are a lot of ways we can show our friends, family and significant others how much we care; here are some non-romantic Valentine’s Day gifts that do just that.
Unique or Handmade Cards
Handmade cards are a very simple, thoughtful gift to give. When you take the time to make something by hand for a friend or loved one, it often means more than the words on the card. And making cards can be as simple or as complicated as you choose.
So what if you don’t have the time (or the patience) to make great cards for all your friends? My favorite place to find handmade cards is the Cyclops and Toad Etsy store. The cards are cute and memorable with simple messages, leaving you plenty of room to write your own personal notes. They even have an “anti-Valentine’s Day” love note if that’s more your style!
The conversations and quality time shared over a meal are invaluable. Valentine’s Day should be a day to appreciate the people around you; spending quality time over a good meal is a great way to do that! Going out for dinner is fun and out of the ordinary, but if you want to avoid the crowds and waiting lists, stay home and make it special. Host a potluck with friends, turn off the TV and eat at the table, or make a special dessert.
On another note: Do you have a friend who has young children? Maybe you have a friend who just has a very busy life. If you’ve ever been in one of these situations, you know that having a meal made for you can be a lifesaver. If you want to make a meal for a friend, crockpot meals or casseroles are perfect because they’re easy to reheat and store.
Do you love getting lost in stories? When I’m reading, I usually think about at least one of my friends and how they’d be able to relate to the story. Because of that, books make an extremely personal, thoughtful gift. Whether you lend your friend a copy of your favorite novel or buy them a new paperback, you can rest assured your loved one will feel cherished this Valentine’s Day.
Giving your time to someone is the most meaningful gift you can give. I know it’s cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. In 10 years, you won’t remember how much money was spent or all the trinkets and chocolates that were given; you’ll remember what you did and how you felt. Here in Detroit, it’s not hard to find an inexpensive concert to satisfy almost any taste in music. If you’re able to spend $10 on your special someone, you can definitely find an upcoming show or exhibit that you’d both enjoy!
There are so many unique ways to show your loved ones how much you care. How will you be spending your Valentine’s Day this year?