Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Frugal Valentine

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Valentine’s Day is set aside as a time to tell your special someone how much you love them. Traditionally, rich chocolates and expensive jewelry have been the gifts of choice, but in this economic downturn, I wanted to suggest some gifts or ideas for your valentine that were frugal, but still full of heart.

Plan a romantic movie date at home. Rent a movie, make the popcorn, and cuddle under the blankets. Or, if your budget is a little larger, you could buy the romantic DVD with a bag of popcorn, and maybe a bottle of sparkling cider, and put it in an inexpensive basket to give to your valentine. Either way, the mood will be set for romance. Here are some of my favorite romantic movies that might give you some ideas as well. I generally like romantic comedies more than straight romance, but choose what your valentine would like.

Pride and Prejudice

Ever After

Princess Bride

Sleepless in Seattle

Beauty and the Beast

Somewhere in Time


While You Were Sleeping

Sound of Music

Romancing the Stone

A Walk to Remember

Other romantic movies that my friends have recommended to me that I have never seen:


An Affair to Remember

House of Flying Daggers

Gone With the Wind

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Doctor Zhivago

To Catch a Thief

Write your valentine a sappy romantic poem, even if you stink at poetry. As Plato once said, “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet. Think of all the traits you love about your valentine, or the moment you first knew you were in love, and go from there. If all else fails, go for a few verses of Roses are red, Violets are blue . . . Or, if you are really uncomfortable with writing a poem, find a romantic poem you can read to your valentine that best expresses what you want to say.

Fill a small basket with lotion, massage oils, bubble bath and candles. Offer to give your valentine a massage.

Make a list of the ten most romantic moments you’ve had with your valentine. Or, make a list of what you love best about your valentine. Wrap the paper in ribbon and give it to them.

Make your valentine a CD of all their favorite songs or songs that are special to you as a couple. Perhaps have a private dance at home by candlelight, or reminisce about the meaning of the songs while they’re playing.

Drive to a spot above your city, pull out some blankets and a thermos of hot chocolate and watch the sunset together. This is a perfect time to reminisce about your courtship and what you appreciate most about each other. One of my favorite quotes is from E. Joseph Cossman when he said, Love is a friendship set to music.>Nourish that friendship and love.

Prepare your valentine’s favorite meal. Use your best china and eat together by candlelight.

After you’ve eaten your meal, give the dishwasher a break and wash the dishes together by hand. You'll be surprised at what can happen!

Give your valentine your favorite picture of the two of you together in a frame. Write the date and a romantic quote on the back. Here are a few ideas for quotes:

    “If you have love, you don’t need anything else, and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter much what else you have.”

    Sir James M. Barrie

    “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

    Franklin P. Jones

    “Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.”


    “Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”

    Henry Louis Mencken

    “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

    Robert Frost

    If you don’t have a valentine this year, consider sharing your love by volunteering at a homeless shelter or food bank or making a valentine for a member of our military who are away from home and loved onesExtra hands and hearts are always appreciated. Also, if you are interested, Operation Care and Comfort (an organization that sends care packages to our military men and women overseas) is doing a Comic Book Drive for our troops. They are asking people to donate comic books, new or used, funny or not, to be shipped to our troops in care packages on an ongoing basis. Comic books are easy to read because they are short stories and they cost very little to add to the shipments weight-wise. You are free to include a note with your donation - paper clip it to the cover or insert it inside. If you do this, comic books are considered "media" and may be shipped using the media rate at the post office. This will save you money! You can mail comics to:

    Operation: Care and Comfort
    2392 Walden Sq
    San Jose, CA 95124
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    Whatever you do, be it extravagant or frugal, have a happy Valentine's Day!


At 2/12/2009 9:47 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley and/or Marion Jensen said...

I usually give my wife a high five for valentines day. It may not sound romantic, but it's all in the deliver.

"Hey Honey!"


"High five!"


See? Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

At 2/13/2009 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you high five on the side? Down low? Then jerk your hand away and say, too slow? It might prolong your romantic gesture if you do that. Just a thought. :)


At 2/13/2009 12:52 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

One year our kids did a really fun Valentine's dinner for my husband and me. They didn't cook all the food, but they served it up with great elegance, and decorated the table and gave us chocolate and everything. It was really fun.

At 2/13/2009 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good suggestions Julie!

We celebrated last night since hubby has to work for the next 2 nights.
We saw Bride wars (don't waste your money) Nights in Rodanthe is better - but stock up on Kleenex.


At 2/13/2009 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I loved your post so much that I cut and pasted it to my computer word program so I can print it out every year and strategically place it in front of my romantically inept (but very lovable) husband a week or so before Valentine's Day, ... and my birthday ... and Mother's Day, and maybe even when I want some extra attention from my sweetie. Thank you for all the time you must have spent in gathering this must have information for romance.

By the way, you can’t go wrong with a Cary Grant movie for romance. An Affair to Remember is one of my favorite movies of all times. To Catch a Thief is pretty good, too. Keep beating my heart! Deep sigh!


At 2/13/2009 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fantastic ideas! My wife has a pulled muscle in her neck and back and it looks like no dinner out, so we're going to do the movies at home and I'll pick up sushi for a snugly dinner date at home.

At 2/14/2009 11:11 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Thanks for the fantastic blog! I forwarded it to all my sons to save forever. :)

In appreciation, I am SO going to send you movies! I can't believe you've missed Casablanca. Somebody's got to fix that, pronto!

At 2/15/2009 5:15 AM, Anonymous Clint Griffeth said...

As a husband who has grown more romantically challenged as time moves on (10 years of marriage), I thank you, thank you, thank you for these ideas!!!

As for romance in movies, it ain't happenin' unless it has adventure and a dude rescuing his lady. "Timeline" comes to mind.


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