My husband and I don't really do Valentine's Day. We used to, when we were young and first dating. In fact, I recall a few gifts that I certainly hope my daughters' boyfriends do not buy them when they are 16. But while we do write each other cards, we stopped exchanging gifts for minor holidays, although he does often buy me an orchid plant (my favorite flower to try to keep long-term), which I'm generally able to keep alive for about six months. Who doesn't love fresh flowers, especially in the winter? (Of course, with two little kids, we'll be lucky if we can sneak off to dinner alone together. Calling all babysitters.)
It might be snobby, but I'm not really a fan of red rose bouquets or carnations; they just feel very predictable. I'm attracted to more lush, interesting flowers like ranunculus, anemone, peonies, and of course, orchids. I love this low, tight arrangement (above) from Olive and Cocoa. The vessel is simple but lovely, and more interesting to me than any theme-y Valentine's Day vase, and something I'd definitely use again. Red's my favorite color so of course I like the shades of the blooms, especially the dark ones. What I really love are the little red mokara orchids at the top, which are the same kind as were tied onto curly willow branches that trailed down from my wedding bouquet. I like the idea of giving an arrangement rather than a bouquet, but that's my personal preference.
Also, I'm not saying that you necessarily have to go this fancy, but before defaulting to red roses, think about your partner's true favorite flower. Taking note of that and offering even a few stems is more meaningful than a big bouquet just for the sake of Valentine's Day, in my opinion.
If your loved one isn't a fan of flowers, there are always edible treats. Chocolate is ubiquitous, but again, think of what your partner really loves. Cheryl's makes really delicious cutout cookies, as good as homemade. My dad was given an assorted box of their cookies for Christmas 2012 and we devoured that sucker. They have several gift options at a variety of price points. The "long-stemmed" cookie arrangement is kind of funny, and the best part about giving an edible treat is you'll probably get to have some, too.
Do you go all out or keep it small to celebrate Valentine's Day? Or do you think it's a ridiculous holiday perpetuated by the industrial greeting card complex?
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