I love Valentine’s Day.
I love seeing couples express their feelings and will always read the soppy messages in the paper. Some funny, some sad, and always entertaining…but you have to ask yourself- what does the day really mean, and should it cost a bucket to express your love for another? I don’t think that a day that celebrates love should be about spending more and more but I often feel that this is the way it has become.
So, how does someone who has chosen a vegan life express their love without it costing the earth? Here are a few simple ideas that I have come up with that may help us vegans out:
Home Made Vegan Chocolate
Chocolates can be a tricky one for Vegans, as you will have to ensure that they don’t contain any dairy products or eggs. But another, more creative- and much cheaper- choice would be to make your own! There are some fantastic recipes out there including the Oh She Glows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles, Vegangela’s Vegan Chocolate Truffles and the Vegan Nom Noms’ truffles. This vegan will always readily accept homemade vegan chocolates!
The Gift of Flowers
I have personally never liked receiving flowers, as I hate to watch them fade and die in the vase. My hubby learned of my dislike very quickly and instead buys me plants or living flowers in pots. Most florists will have these options available if you ask in advance. How much better is it to plant a beautiful rose that lasts for years (lifetimes in most cases), and that you can cut your own flowers every season? Or how about a few packets of flower seeds that you can sow, nurture and enjoy together? Bonus is that the bees get a treat too!
Show Your Respect
This is more for the omnivores living with a vegan. What better way to show your vegan loved one that your understand and respect their choice of living a cruelty free life by making them a romantic vegan meal or snack. It doesn’t have to be a three-course meal, just breakfast in bed or a simple lunch that you take the effort and time to make especially for them will mean the world.
A Vegan Picnic
There is something about preparing vegan food together, packing a bag, choosing the wine and selecting the perfect spot to enjoy the feast in the open air. This doesn’t have to involve loads of travel time. How about your backyard, a local park or in cold or rainy weather, how about a floor picnic? In front or an open fire on a cosy rug, or in a room filled with candles. Super romantic! Forego the standard plastic plates and cups and pack some really pretty china plates, silver cutlery, beautiful wine or champagne glasses and cloth napkins. Great food deserves to be eaten on nice tableware!
Create a Special Gift
If you have a special talent (or even if you don’t but are willing to try!) make your lover a gift that they will remember. This could be a poem, a story, love letter, a painting, a song penned just for them, a lovingly knitted scarf, and/or hand-crafted card to suggest just a few ideas. These are the sorts of gifts that are kept forever, and sometimes even passed down for generations.
I love receiving jewellery and have been lucky enough to receive many beautiful pieces in the 17 years I have been with my hubby. It seems that these days, people are pressured into buying bigger and spending more each year. My all time favourite gifts of jewellery are those that have been pre-loved and well worn. They seem to have a glow about them, like they have held onto the feelings that the former owner had when they were wearing them with pride. Look around in charity, second hand or antique stores for a special, retro or unique piece. Spending in charity stores helps others in need too!
Put Your Money to a Better Use
My husband and I have agreed this year to put the money that we would normally spend on Valentine’s Day gifts to a great cause. Pick a charity or group in need that you both support and donate the money together. For example – the money that we spend on chocolates or flowers could buy food, bedding, or doggy toys for dogs in no-kill shelter. We are donating our money directly to an orphanage in Uganda this year, to go towards building a toilet/shower block for the children.
And remember that if your partner says they don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day, it could be that they just don’t want anything too materialistic or commercial! Ask them if they would like to try more original ideas instead!