Friday, 3 February 2012

Making Luurve

I don't get people who dislike Valentine's day because they say (usually condenscendingly) 'anyone who treats their loved one especially nicely once a year must therefore be neglecting them the rest of the time'. Not only is that deliberately mean spirited (assuming that everyone apart from their holiness of holier-than-thou is neglectful every other day and merely OK on Valentine's) it patently ignores the one thing that modern psychologists, historical sages and wise nannas all agree on; that it's impossible, and unhealthy, to be in a full-on emotional state 24/7 - so ritual and celebratory dates are valuable. A moment of excess and expression. Everyday love is vital; it's listening, cooking dinner, remembering to take the bins out on a cold night so they don't have to. It isn't - unless you're rich and unhealthy- champagne, chocolates a-plenty and nights on the town. That's why we have festivals.

Anyway, having said that, I don't actually like Valentine's day as it exists in London. It's savagely materialistic, without the cheeky glee of Christmas tackiness. It smugly only celebrates 'romantic' love of the most stereotypical kind. The menus of the restaurants all change to overpriced fixed ones and the tables get pushed together so you're just as intimate with the couple next to you as your date. They stick a glittery plastic heart in a bunch of Tesco flowers and double the price. His Lordship and I tend to go for our Valentine's dinner on the 15th of February - the one night of the year you can guarantee a table at any restaurant you fancy, off the regular menu ... with no intrusive 'romantic' muzak. Much better. Valentine's is also a time to cook and care for all of those we love though- it should be a day of friendship and joy, not smugness and slush.

On the day itself, it's nice to have a card, a present - but it should be the thought that counts on Valentine's, more so than any other festival. Stereotypical bought-from-the-Valentine's-display aren't romantic to me. I like a bespoke cider better than champagne, deli cheeses better than chocolates - and (as we all know) I'm meeeaaan. Spend £50 on red roses and I'll only be thinking of how we're meant to be renovating- buy me a cute charity shop brooch and I'll squeal with delight. I've had presents (not from His Lordship) which upset me; thoughtless, even if pricy, presents that revealed the ex either didn't know me, or was more bothered that his mates knew what he'd spent.

Anyway, with that in mind, here are some ideas for home crafted, charitable and unusual Valentine's gifts:

A Kitsch & Cute Keyring
tutorial from Cut Out & Keep

A portrait, favourite print,
photo...or something saucy
transformed into wall art!
Also COAK.
Loved one has a sweet tooth? Forget the milk tray or hard-iced, tiny 'gift cake'... go all out...

Or perhaps they prefer savoury? These could be card toppers, jewellery, ornaments...mmmm, crisps...

OK, so perhaps you aren't so crafty. You fancy some shopping - here are some ideas:

Oxfam Books - romantic reading with money to a great cause

...and their jewellery, from elegant to cute, all ethical and reasonable

Sending flowers? They'll smell sweeter with a 20% donation to Cancer Research!

Or show your love with the British Heart Foundation 'Love Notes' scheme - how apt for Valentine's day.


  1. Goodness, I remember those shrunken crisp bag brooches you could make! The favoured brand was Monster Munch!

  2. When we (boyf and I, not the royal we) try to do a big celebration it doesn't tend to work out. I love the little gifts. A mini crisp packet badge could be a great present! Also I will stuff down one of those amazing krispy kreme valentines doughnuts, he might even get some

  3. We always make our our cards for Valentine's and birthdays, much more personal than some hideous mass-produced tat with a horrible bear or something else revolting. x

  4. I say get crafty and make something with heart! Some great ideas here.

  5. I'm one of those people who don't "do" valentines.

    By this I mean that I don't like the commercialism of it, the price hikes & the expectations.

    My husband & I exchange the same cards every year (because my nan & grandad always did), we buy each other something little (usually a Turkish delight which we'd both coincidentally bought each other on our first date).
    I love flowers but I don't want them at a premium.

    That said, I have no problem with people who want to do it all. Each to their own & that.

    But I do "do" Christmas & birthdays, & probably go a bit mad...

  6. We never actually go out on Valentines day any more because I can't stand the tacky overpriced set menus either. I actually love cooking a meal in as we very rarely get any time to have dinner on our own. I agree we need these little celebrations to remind us!I love the idea of homemade cards.

  7. I haven't got a craft bone in my body more's the pity but I do like to celebrate Valentine's Day at home.

  8. I love Valentine's Day.
    creative ideas amor.
    I need to start making my own cards.

  9. Thanks for sharing this post.

    It's great to see lots of people making gifts. I'll never forget the time my boyfriend has no money to get me gift so he bought me some cigarettes and wrote a poem on the pack. A strange gift but perfectly me, and that what's so wonderful about home made gifts.


Let me know what you think!