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Somehow Valentine’s Day always sneaks up on me year after year. Maybe it’s because our family has grown in size and I have the agendas of multiple people on my mind, but out of all of the holidays, this is the one I usually forget. I always seem to be rushing to buy a gift at the last minute or quickly buy some flowers to make it look like I remembered. That’s not the way I believe it should be though. Of course I celebrate my relationship with Bryan more than just one day a year, but Valentine’s Day makes me take a step back from the busy daily routines to remember that we need to have a solid foundation otherwise everything else will crumble in our lives. I have to admit that when Valentine’s Day does come around, it’s special. It’s a day dedicated to intentionally setting a time to focus on our relationship and Valentine’s day helps us remember that.
Now that I’ve gotten all mushy and convinced you why Valentine’s Day might not be a total waste of time, I have some suggestions for date ideas. Why dates? Why not get some chocolates or roses and call it good? Because in today’s society we’ve learned that “to show love and affection is to give a teddy bear, cut flowers, or other material items. But why do we do it? It’s because of learned custom, of course. We see it, we apply it, we repeat it, and we have continued to do so for years, without thinking about the impact this behaviour has on our environment”. Giving gifts is one of my love languages so I can completely relate to wanting to give your significant other gifts, especially on a holiday. The truth is that most of the “gifts” on the market are incredibly wasteful and contribute to the plastic pollution problem that our world is currently facing.
So what are some ways that you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one that doesn’t involve scrambling to the grocery store two hours before dinner to buy roses with a high carbon footprint or a balloon that won’t biodegrade for over 400 years?
Here are some ideas…
1. Ice skating – for a list of ice skating rinks in the Denver area, click HERE.
2. Sledding – Lila always looks forward to sledding over the holiday break and, to be honest, we always end up joining in the fun with the kids. I’m always belly laughing by the second run and wondering why I didn’t join in sooner. This is by far one of my favorite winter pastimes.
3. Geocaching – if you like treasure hunting and did I mention… completely free? Geocaching is one of our favorite activities. I highly recommend downloading the geocaching app and start treasure hunting literally in your own backyard.
4. Indoor skydiving – let me just say, this is at the top of my Valentine’s Day date bucket list right now. I’ll let you know how it goes!
5. Play board games or cards – Bryan’s family loves to play cards and I have learned a lot since joining the family. Sometimes playing a few rounds of Gin Rummy with a glass of wine by our sides is the best way to pass the time after the kids go to bed.
6. Drink wine and paint – what’s better than a glass of Zin and a blank canvas?
7. Hike – for a list of hikes around the Denver area, click HERE.
8. Zero Waste Picnic – pack your favorite dishes (recipes from the minimalistbaker.com are my favorite), a bottle of wine, and your own dining utensils for a zero waste meal.
9. Plan a future trip – as much as most of us would love to be traveling more these days, current worldly circumstances may keep us from doing so for the time being. Being prepared for when you can get out of town with your loved one(s) or on a solo journey can give you something to look forward to. Provence, France is currently on my bucketlist; summer 2023 here we come!
10. Dance or exercise class – I have always wanted to take Bachata classes with Bryan. There is something about learning the choreography and feeling the beat that just draws me in! Is there a class you’ve been dying to try?
11. Volunteer for a cleanup – Bryan and I like to clean up trash regularly around our neighborhood to give back to give back to the community, but a few years ago, we participated in an ocean clean up in San Diego that turned into a truly memorable experience.
12. Go wine tasting or brewery hopping – as you all know, we are brewery people, but I’m also a sucker for a quality glass of Pino. Check out Dry Dock Brewing, Comrade Brewing, Ratio Beerworks and Denver Beer Co, among others when planning your brewery hop!
13. Trivia night or Bingo – many breweries host game nights, trivia nights, and bingo; some even have these events are available virtually.
14. Visit a funky museum – if you are into history or art, then check out one of those museums too! In Denver we have Meow Wolf and the Selfie Museum that have really embraced providing Alice-in-Wonderland type of fun experience. I highly recommend checking both of these out if you haven’t already!
As you can see, even though we missed the camera countdown in the photo booth for the first two shots, we had a blast and I can confidently say that as much as I love giving and receiving gifts, Bryan and I are able to find other ways to connect for Valentine’s Day and step away from our daily routines to remind each other why we chose to do life together.
If you would still like to give that special someone a gift on Valentine’s day, please do! I absolutely don’t want to shame you into avoiding purchasing gifts. I’m just hoping we can all become more mindful about the types of gifts we buy, where they come from, and where they will end up.
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Until next time,