Cupid’s chokehold

Don’t let money keep you from making Valentine’s Day special

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s easy to take on the “Do I really have to do something?” mentality, especially if you’ve been seeing someone for a while.

As much as it can seem like just another hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day can be a great way to remind that special someone in your life that you love them, and remind you to make everyday special with that person. As penny-pinching college students, try these gift and date ideas to save some money while flattering your honey.

Giant Valentine’s Day card: Go buy a huge piece of pink or red poster board and make a giant, goofy and cute Valentine’s card for your sweetheart. Fill it with a thoughtful message that tells him or her how you really feel.

Flowers: Guys, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Girls don’t get flowers very often and they are always something special that makes a girl feel on top of the world.

Homemade dinner/picnic: If you’re stuck in the residence halls, lay a picnic blanket on the floor. Make your significant other a special meal complete with an appetizer, main course, and cute Valentine’s Day dessert. If you have an apartment, adorn a table with a nice tablecloth, flower petals, and candles while soft music plays in the background. Maybe even dress up to make the occasion more special. (Note: Don’t try lighting candles in the residence halls! It’s a fire hazard, but maybe a nice string of white lights could do the trick.)

Love poem/letter: With the monotony into which relationships often fall, it’s easy for couples to forget to tell each other how they really feel. Write a sentimental letter or poem to remind your special person why you love them, or make a list of 20 reasons you love them. So what if it’s a little corny? It’s the thought that counts and your special someone is sure to love it.

Knit a scarf/hat: If you’re a crafty person, make a Valentine’s Day scarf to keep your significant other warm. They’ll think of you every time they wear it.

Write or play a song: For the musically talented, use that skill for the one you love. If you’re really creative, write him or her a song. If you can play but aren’t so comfortable throwing your own words into the mix, choose and perform a song that says how you feel. Men, this one’s sure to be a hit with your lady if you have the guts to do it. What girl wouldn’t want to be serenaded?

Make a dessert: If a dinner is a little over budget, look up romantic Valentine’s Day themed desserts online. Surprise your special someone, or make a fun day out of creating and then enjoying a treat together. Anything with chocolate is usually a hit.

Cute coupons: Make a coupon book full of things you owe your honey. For example, include IOUs for a back massage, coffee or ice cream on you, control of the remote for the whole day (we know this is a tough one for the guys), breakfast in bed, or anything else thoughtful.

Romantic CD: Put together a mixed CD of songs that mean a lot to both of you. Pick out poignant lines from the song to really hit home with your loved one. They’ll think of you every time they listen to those songs.

Frame or scrapbook: Put together a frame or collage with your favorite pictures of each other, or put together a scrapbook or album of your relationship. Begin with when you first started dating and write cute comments or memories to accompany each photo. This will bring back memories and have you looking forward to the future.

Dance together: Wherever you live, go somewhere secluded and put together a playlist of special songs. Hang white lights or light candles, turn off TVs and other distractions and just dance with your significant other.

Movie night: Make it a laid-back night devoted only to your special someone. Put on pajamas, get comfy, and spend the night relaxing. Let your significant other choose a movie to watch and unwind while drinking hot cocoa.

First date replay: Do whatever you did on your first date. It’s bound to bring back fond memories and hit a sweet spot in your sweetie. If you feel like pushing the envelope, make a scavenger hunt with the final clue leading to the spot where your relationship began.

Balloon bouquet: Fill up clear, red, white, and pink balloons with candies and slips of paper with sweet compliments on them.

For the single folks: Show a non-romantic love you care. Do something sweet for your mom, dad, a sibling, or a friend, or give back to those in your community by serving the homeless or volunteering. n