Walk into any shop right now and you’ll likely be bombarded with a load of Valentine’s Day tat. It’s not my most favourite of times, so I’ve been brainstorming some non consumerist Valentine’s Day ideas, for those of you, like me, who seek an alternative to the commercial version of Valentine’s Day that shops try to sell us.
Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been the tat filled consumer laden day that it is now. One of the earliest recorded ‘celebrations’ of Valentine’s Day, in the Pre Christian Era, was where young men would strip naked and use goat- or dog-skin whips to spank the backsides of young women in order to improve their fertility. Fun.
Here are ten non consumerist Valentine’s Day ideas that don’t involve spanking. Or maybe they do, depending on your preferences…
10 Non Consumerist Valentine’s Day Ideas
Embrace Local Arts
Go and see a local live comedy show, band or theatre show. In times of cuts to local arts funding, it’s good to support the arts, and you might see something you otherwise might not have known about. We saw Rob Delaney at The Stand in Edinburgh last year and we’re still laughing at some of his sketches now.
Brush Up on Your History
Speaking of the arts, alternatively you could visit a museum or gallery together. There are a wealth of free museums and galleries in the UK, all with some spectacular collections. In Edinburgh my favourite is the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street, and in Glasgow I have a soft spot for the Kelvingrove Museum.
Go On A Ramble or Bike Ride
Go on a walk or bike ride some place new together. Ramble along an unfamiliar beach, path or neighbourhood. Bonus points if you stop in a local cafe for a warming cup of tea. Or super bonus points if you take a flask of hot chocolate and some cake with you! February can still be a cold one.
Ditch The Restaurant
Don’t want to be in a packed and overpriced restaurant surrounded by couples proposing? Me neither. Why not prepare a your favourite meal together at home and enjoy a quiet and relaxing candlelit meal together?
Bake A Cake
Make Each Other Laugh
The ability to make each other laugh is apparently vital when it comes to romantic attraction. However, a few years or decades down the line, when you’re knee deep in household chores, paying bills and looking after the kids, it’s easy to forget what you once found funny about each other. This Valentine’s Day, why not try and make each other laugh. Have a joke telling competition. See who can tell the best (or worst!) joke. Best played over a bottle of wine!
Watch A Film
At home, or at your local independent cinema. I’d personally skip the romantic ones. Nobody need’s Hollywood’s version of romance looming over you on Valentine’s Day, when your own version of romance is probably just perfect.
Make A Playlist
The chances are that at some point in your life you made a compilation tape for a significant other (or the person you hoped might be your significant other). Wasn’t it fun carefully selecting the songs to make the other person think you were cool and knew all the right bands? Why not do the same now? It could be fun picking songs from all the various points in your life together as a couple.
There’s no need to go out for meal, when all you want to do is get straight to the dessert!
Show Your Love For Others Less Fortunate
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about the love between couples. It can, and should be about showing your love for others, especially those less fortunate. You and your partner could consider volunteering together at a local soup kitchen or food bank. If you don’t have the time, why not take what you might have spend on a meal or a gift and donate to a charity of your choosing?
Would you add anything to this list of alternative Valentine’s Day ideas?