This year will be my fourth year celebrating Valentine’s Day with my husband, our first as newlyweds, and I couldn’t be more excited! Our first Valentine’s Day together, we went to a fancy restaurant that was everything I thought I wanted. When we got there we were seated at a cramped table surrounded by couples. We couldn’t have felt less alone and it sucked the romance right out of the night. Instead of being able to order anything our heart’s desired, they had a special menu for the evening with only a few choices. In the end, we realized that the whole point of this day was to be together and we felt like we were on display all evening. We decided right there and then to make a pact that we would never go out on Valentine’s Day again.
Our tradition is to keep it simple by staying in and enjoy what we love most of all: eating delicious food, drinking good wine, and being together. Even though I’m staying home, I always wear a special dress. After all, even when I go out, I don’t dress for strangers. Each year we pick a new recipe to try that we can cook together. This year we are attempting to make my mom’s famous homemade sautéed Gnocchi with lamb ragout. It is going to be a tough endeavor but, as it’s on a Friday this year, we have all night to get it right. While cooking, we start the evening off right with champagne and then enjoy a special bottle of wine with our dinner. It makes the victory of cooking a difficult meal even more rewarding. In lieu of gifts, we sit around the computer and research a play, opera, or ballet that we want to see together. This is a gift that I value over something substantial because we can do it as a couple and it gives us something fun to look forward to. This year we are going to put one of wedding gifts to good use for a romantic dessert: chocolate fondue. It’s wonderful to be adding a new tradition to our already perfect evening. As for date night out, don’t forget that the next day is Saturday and all of the restaurants will be back to normal. Find a special place to go. Just because it’s not Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you can’t take a moment to celebrate your love.
If you’re not in a relationship, have no fear, this evening can be just as fun with a group of girlfriends. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and share below how you ended up celebrating!