The 14th of February brings with it the horror of tacky gifts on central display, overpriced roses gracing every street corner, and clichéd declarations of love littering our social media newsfeeds. What was originally a day dedicated to love ended up a heavily commercialised celebration of cringeworthy romantic gestures. While it’s difficult to move away from the clichés, there are a few activities you can try for Valentine’s Day that thankfully do not involve any of the above.
Be a Tourist
That giddy, ecstatic feeling when you’re exploring a new place abroad is second to none, and it can only be amplified with your significant other by your side. The obvious choice is to hop on a plane and retreat to another country for a couple of days, but an easier, cheaper option is to be a tourist in your own country. Put on your backpacks, slather some sun cream, slip on a pair of horrid sandals in typical tourist fashion and make your way to places tourists usually opt for. Hop by Popeye Village, go on a boat trip around Dwejra in Gozo or pay a visit to Ħaġar Qim temples. Remember to keep your phone in hand throughout the whole process; it’s the perfect opportunity for cheesy pictures with your loved one.
Try a New Activity
If you’re anything like me, one of your favourite pastimes must be curling up on bed, stuffing your face with crisps as you click through Facebook pictures of people doing amazing things in awesome places and say ‘Oh, I really want to do that’. The problem is you just accumulate these activities in your to-do list but never actually get down to doing them. Are there any activities you and your loved one have been half considering to do for a long time? Grab the chance! Buy a tent and go camping, brace yourself and go abseiling or sip on wine during a wine-tasting tour. Why repeat the same dull yearly routine when you can change things up?
Re-Create One of your Favourite Memories
Remember when you ate ice cream and looked at the setting, crimson sun on Għajn Tuffieħa beach? Perhaps what gives you a warm fuzzy feeling is that memory of you in a car sharing greasy fries and listening to throwback songs in the early hours of the morning. Re-create your favourite memory; remind yourself of the magic of your relationship and the journey you’ve been through.
Make a DIY Gift
There is nothing inherently wrong with a bunch of roses, a box of chocolates, a teddy bear or any other popular gift given on Valentine’s Day. There are however, many problems with giving these gifts on that specific date. Sticking to the conventional and the obvious screams of sloppiness and laziness. Your loved one might grit her teeth and fake smile her way out of yet another teddy bear and flowers combo saga, but the chances are she/he would prefer something more innovative. Play to your strengths and create something that requires some thinking. If you’re a capable writer, compose a poem or write a story of your relationship. If you have a flair for design, go for a handmade card. A computer geek can design a game with his loved one in mind. A photo enthusiast can create a collage from photos of the past year. Please, save your flowers and teddy bears for the other 364 days of the year.
Postpone the Celebration
Do you need to celebrate your love on the 14th of February, when it’s practically become a forced ritual? Choose a random day and surprise your significant other by turning up on their doorstep. Pick a date and plan to spend the day together. Give random, small gifts for no reason. Please excuse me while I contradict myself and step into clichéd territory: Love should not be celebrated by being forced to by a commercialised feast such as Valentine’s Day. It is worthy enough to be celebrated every day.
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Amy Webb