With all the COVID variants- 2022 seems to be the second Valentine’s Day very much impacted by the pandemic. With 14 days to go until the special day, we got to thinking what are great ways to celebrate Valentine’s day/Galentine’s Day this year. The Binnie and Clode Co. Team came up with some of our favorite ways to enjoy this holiday from the comfort of your home. If you are still looking for some ideas to encourage your loved ones from feeling glum on the 14th, read on…
Our First Suggestion: The Favorite Meal Potluck Game
- This is a great way to celebrate the night if you love sharing food and have a range of either one person to many people for the celebration.
- First, figure out how many people you are lucky enough to spend Valentine’s Day with… then set up one category for each person to contribute for dinner. For example you and 3 girlfriends are celebrating together, you need 4 dinner categories. We would suggest an appetizer, entre, dessert, and drinks. Either throw each category into a hat or use a random number generator (specifically ask it not to generate the same number twice) and go through each person and have them choose or have the number generator assign them a category. The numbers correlate to the appetizer, entre, dessert, and drinks, starting with 1 for appetizer and so on. Once you know what each person is assigned, have the appetizer individual choose their favorite entree, and then the individual that drew the entree will cook that meal, have the entre individual choose his/her favorite dessert and the dessert person will cook that and so on. So that the drinks person chooses the appetizer to complete the loop. If you only have two people, then one would make the entree and the other the dessert, each deciding what the other would make. Playing this game ensures that each person in the party will have something that they favor being cooked/made for them by another person. The dinner party group also gets to enjoy how perfect the meal lines up or gets to laugh at how disjointed each part of the meal is from the last, while still being able to come together and enjoy each item for what it is. Either way you are sure to have a blast attempting to cook something new to you. At the end of the night, the party can also decide who did the best with their category.
- Helpful tip: If you are playing this game with more than 4 people, we suggest adding someone on side dish duty and having up to 3 side dishes added. If you are playing with more than 7 people, we suggest adding other main entrees, and appetizers to the mix. We also suggest either using the hat method, or having one person control the random number generator scenario- assigning a number randomly to each party member.
Second Suggestion: Game Night
- For those who love video games, board games, card games and all sorts of gaming in general, a game night is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This can also range from a party of one to a party of many.
- Pull one to three different games- depending on required play time for each and set them aside ready to go. Let the group (or if celebrating on your own- you) decide on the priority of each game, giving highest priority to the game that will be played first. Set up a little snack corner and get some fizzy drinks (flavored seltzers) before commencing. Feel free to jump from board games to video games to card games to ping pong, or stick to one type of game. Some of the line-ups we have really liked are starting with a quick easy game like Catan (board game), then moving on to Mario Party All Stars (video game), and finishing off with Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain (video game). But everything is open to your prior experience, the games you have access to, and your favorites. Just make sure to start with something easy and end with something that is entertaining. I would sandwich anything difficult into the middle of the night, however unless you or the whole party is well versed with playing lots of different games, leave learning a new difficult game out of Valentine’s Day night. Stick to what you know, love and enjoy!
Third Suggestion: Have a Device Free Night
- If you are spending the night with a significant other, we suggest having a throwback night. This option is best for a party of two, but can also be used for family or a group of friends that want to share some old school quality time.
- First, set up a device basket or station. Then turn devices off or just lower the volume of a ringtone, etc. and drop off your phone, tablet, gaming device, etc., into the device basket for the night. Make the TV off limits. If you want to play some music, feel free to have that going on in the background. Then turn off your lights and light a bunch of candles (we suggest Binnie and Clode Co. Candles, they are the best!). Pour yourself an alcoholic or non alcoholic drink; our suggestions are red wine, hot chocolate, or a homemade iced latte. Sit on any comfy spot in the home and just talk. Talk about your week, talk about the future, talk about all the things that you appreciate about life at the moment, or talk about anything weighing you down. Just take the night to connect, ask questions, catch up on anything you have been meaning to ask. We aren't talking about bringing up those chores that someone forgot to do… leave the home to-do list out of the conversation tonight and chat about anything else that you fancy. If this just sounds like a normal night to you, up the ante by talking about your favorite moments together, for example: laugh over that time you both missed your connecting flight home from the honeymoon, talk about the time that guy accidentally set himself on fire at the bar (don't worry he wasn't hurt), or how about that time when your nephew said that hilarious thing that he didn't understand had a totally different meaning, and how you both can't wait to tell him about when he turns 18.
Fourth Suggestion: Have a Relaxing Night
- Clearly this is best if you are celebrating the holiday on your own, as we find it best to relax when we are left to do a few key self-care activities as individuals. However this can be planned as a night with others.
- For starters, for a relaxing night to be truly relaxing, we suggest you plan out the night a few days in advance. For example: if you want to read a book with a candle lit, or alternatively if you want to take a relaxing bath, or finally get to a meditation session that is more than 10 minutes long…. All can be achieved but creating a peaceful ambiance at the last minute can be stressful. If you plan to take a bath, start by looking through your storage and determine if you have a bath bomb, bath oils, or some bath salts to use for your bath. If you plan to read a book, plan to visit the local library the weekend before Valentine’s Day, to take out two books. That way you can choose which book calls to you more that day. If you plan to meditate for the first time in a few months, or to extend your meditation practice by double the amount of time that is your norm, think of some themes for your meditation mantra for the day. If you plan to watch a TV show, check out what might be of interest to you and make sure that it is available to you on your preferred streaming site a few days before Valentine’s Day. If you plan to light a few candles, check to see if you have any in a scent profile you would like to burn that day. For example: you may really be into a sweet spring scent like Orange Hibiscus, if you don't have any candles or nothing that you are craving to burn, check out our site or your favorite candle emporium and order a few candles within a week or two of the big day. Clearly things always pop up, but being proactive about relaxation time allows for that night to feel even more pleasurable than you had imagined.
Lastly, If All Previous Suggestions Sound Overwhelming: Forget all about Valentine’s Day Expectations
- Lastly for anyone out there that feels overwhelmed and stressed by the expectations of a Holiday, we totally understand, and we suggest you just treat it like any other day. We view holidays as a fun way to do something cute to encourage gratitude. However, everyone feels differently about Holidays. If the way a day is marketed makes you feel stress and ultimately some degree of disappointment, then don't subscribe to the Holiday. Treat the 14th of February like any other day in the month. We encourage you to stay off of social media that day. At the end of the day your most important Valentine is yourself! The Binnie and Clode Team wants to encourage you to practice being gentle and kind to yourself in any and all ways you can.
- Binnie and Clode