Does Valentine’s Day seem frivolous? After all, movies and television show us over and over again that Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for cards, candies, and flowers. Possibly champagne and dancing.
Most people don’t associate Valentine’s Day with words like practical. But I knew on our first Valentine’s Day together that Jon was a little different. For our first Valentine’s Day as a couple, my imminently sensible sweetheart gave me a programmable thermostat.
He then proceeded to explain, despite my dubious reaction, what a truly romantic gift a programmable thermostat could be. If we spent less on heating and cooling, we’d have more to spend on fun evenings throughout the year. We might save enough to fund an extra weekend away or a week long vacation.
Suddenly, sensible sounded positively sexy.
This year, I celebrate Valentine’s Day #12 with Jon. Over that time, he has convinced me that practical can also be romantic. Romance isn’t all candlelight and roses, it’s also cuddly nights under blankets. Small comforts that last months and months feel far sweeter these days than chocolates that will be gone in a week.
In honor of my sensible sweetheart (and only slightly tongue in cheek), I give you several practical gifts that can melt any heart.
You know what’s better than a comfortable bed? Not much. High thread count soft cotton sheets cost a bit more, but they last for years and they’ll improve the quality of your sleep. Buy a set and you’ll never want to sleep on anything else.
Basically, anything that makes your time in bed more comfortable is a great idea for Valentine’s Day. Pillows and mattress pads need to be periodically replaced, and V-Day can be a great excuse to go ahead and do that. Blankets (especially an electric blanket) can keep you toasty and warm.
No, you won’t get by as cheaply as if you’d just bought a bottle of wine, but the idea of a comfy bed has its place in the pantheon of romantic ideals.
Along the same lines, I really appreciate good towels as well. Older towels can start feeling stiff, but new fluffy towels make the experience of drying off much more pleasant.
A Car Wash
For many of us, winter is a time when we need to wash our cars. Salt and slush get on the paint and undercarriage, and it’s a lot harder to motivate yourself to get out in the cold and get the car clean.
So what can be nicer than having someone do it for you? Whether your sensible sweetheart washes your car by hand or takes it through an automatic car wash, a clean car is just more fun to drive. Not to mention, a good car wash helps keep rust away and helps your car last longer. Clean windows improve your visibility, making you safer. It may not be the world’s sexiest gift, but it can be a way of making you feel safe and cherished.
A Modem and/or Router
Just as Jon’s programmable thermostat saved us a lot of money to do other things, so can getting rid of the modem and/or router that you rent from your internet provider. For the equivalent of a couple of months rent, you can replace the rentals with your own and kick that monthly expense to the curb.
A Programmable Coffee Maker
Got a morning coffee shop habit? Pick up a programmable coffee maker and start making your coffee before bed. Then pour your coffee in a travel cup in the morning and Ta-Dah! You’re saving money every day.
A Day Off
No, I don’t mean work for them. I just mean give your loved one a day to themselves…no kids, no chores, no errands. Take on the little things, get out of the house for a while and let your loved one binge-watch all those shows you don’t want to watch anyway.
If your dearest loves flowers but you just can’t see spending a fortune on roses for a day, consider a potted plant instead of cut flowers. It’ll last much longer (especially if you buy a perennial), and you’ll have a wider variety to choose from.
Alternate Meal Plans
Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a day when couples go out for dinner. However, in the evening restaurants are full and prices go up. Plus, if you have younger kids, you have to find a good babysitter who isn’t already booked.
If your work schedule allows, meet up for lunch instead.
You’ll still get the meal out experience, probably pay less, and maybe skip the babysitter for school or daycare.
Alternately, stay home and cook on Valentine’s Day itself and make your Valentine’s Gift an IOU on a nice dinner out on a later date.
Practical Can be Romantic
Not every Valentine’s Day gift needs to be an over-the-top romantic gesture. Not every act of love is frivolous.
Heck, Jon was able to make new wiper blades for my car a loving gift just by pointing out how much safer the new blades would make me.(and how much he’d hate it if something bad happened.).
You just have to show concern and care for your partner. Do that, and your Valentine will find the sweetness in even the most sensible gift.
Do you have a sensible sweetheart? What’s your best suggestion for a practical Valentine’s Day gift?