Some of us love Valentine’s Day, some of us hate it, and some of us are rather neutral.  Despite the fact that I absolutely refuse to watch The Notebook because it costs me nearly $10 in tissues, I’ve always felt a little neutral about Cupid’s big day.

Yes, it’s wonderful to celebrate romantic feelings and all the fun that being in love brings {I am in love and honestly find it extremely wonderful}, but choosing to love someone after realizing this person is not exactly what you thought he/she would be, and loving someone despite holding some very different opinions, and loving someone after sinning against each other, and learning not to pull away emotionally when what is needed is to come together, and finding beauty hand-in-hand throughout the lovely process of aging….to me that kind of love is so grounded and not fluffy that I have trouble getting too fluffy about it.


Who decided love was best encapsulated by a teddy bear?

(Having a heart-to-heart with my camera.  “Teddy bears, Mr. Sony:  yay or nay?”)


I digress.  :)

The lyrics to the Sara Groves song “Loving a Person” come to mind:

Love and pride can’t occupy the same spaces, baby
Only one makes you free
Hold on to me
I’ll hold on to you
Let’s find out the beauty of seeing things through
If we go looking for offense
We’re going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We’re going to find it
Loving a person just the way they are, it’s no small thing
It’s the whole thing

I think Valentine’s Day presents a neat opportunity to take a secular holiday and join the world in celebrating it, but then sort of turbo-boosting the thing by adding to the celebration the love we see in Jesus.  After all, through his life of sacrifice, we get the most accurate demonstration of pure love we’re ever going to find.

No matter where you stand on Valentine’s Day, there’s no denying the value in remembering to tell the most important people in our lives how valuable they are. And don’t you think it’s funny how nice and respectful and sweet we can be to people we hardly know, and how unloving and rude and ungrateful we can sometimes be towards our own family?  It’s certainly something to think about.

I’m all about a day to try to redeem that strange phenomenon and tell the people closest to me, “gosh, I really love you!”


I hereby present….

3 loving, not-at-all rude, gratitude-filled ideas

for a very merry and thrifty Valentine’s Day


1.  Save big by being late.

Decide with your significant other, friend, or complete stranger :) to hold off on buying a Valentine’s day gift until two or three days after the day of love.  The price of the holiday goodies will have significantly dropped if you wait to shop, so decide a value you each want to spend {perhaps $7}, and see who can get the most outrageous stuff, the best chocolate, or just the most goods while keeping within your set budget.

One year I bought Ben one of those HUGE 4 foot cards a few days after Valentine’s Day.  It was the most gooey, sappy card imaginable–one of those things where you hate it so much you have to buy it–and if I recall correctly, I wrote inside the card  “I really hate this card!”  We still laugh about this $2 memory.


2.  Send a personalized paper card from American Greetings for about a dollar (including postage!)

By using the coupon code AGVAL99 upon checkout at American Greetings, you can send a truly adorable, custom-made Valentine right to your recipient’s house.

While designing a Valentine recently, I was surprised by an array of templates and other options to customize these clever and sweet cards.  American Greetings gives you control over font (and there are some neat ones) and font color, plus the number of your personal photos you wish to have appear in the card.  I had a lot of fun tinkering around and ended up using some photos I took at Christmas to send my in-laws a card that features pictures of their beloved grandchildren.

Recap:  personalized valentine, they print it, they put postage on it, your total goes from about $3 to exactly $1.07 (which includes tax and postage) when using coupon code AGVAL99 at checkout.   {Shop here}


3.  Create a lasting, whimsical bouquet.


I honestly believe one of the best ways to save money is to make gifts by hand.  I recently saw this same sentiment printed in Parenting magazine and was excited that someone  who publishes things agrees with me.  :)

I designed this for a dear friend’s birthday and was extremely pleased with how it turned out.

{Go right ahead and notice how that candle burning in the background clearly makes this gift appropriate for V-Day}

 For the whimsical bouquet tutorial, please

What you will need:

  • Paper of various colors and designs
  • Green floral wire (I used 22 gauge.  This is a great craft product to have on hand)
  • Wire cutters
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun
  • Rocks, moss, sand, or artificial grass
  • Twine
  • Glass jar (I used a recycled minced garlic jar)

For the flowers in this bouquet, I followed this lovely tutorial from Jones Design Company.  I can’t stress enough how simple the flowers are to make.

One additional tip I would add to the Jones tutorial pertains to using pretty patterned paper that happens to be one-sided:  try gluing two patterned pieces of paper to each other, not-nice sides together, so your flowers end up having a design on each side.  This step isn’t necessary for paper with a pattern on each side.

To spruce up my jar, I hot glued a thin strip of paper around the center of the jar and adhered a flower in the front.  For the nice twine addition–hot glue, baby!  Hot glue a dab to your jar and stick an end of twine in it.  Start wrapping that twine until you like how it looks, then add another dab of glue and stick the other end of twine in it to finish it off.  Ideally, both dabs of hot glue will be in the back of your jar, which is the opposite direction of your jar’s flower.

To make the gift more durable, I glued the ends of the floral wire to the inside of the jar.

The finishing touches are curling your floral wire for the whimsical look and then adding whatever you want to fill your jar with!  Crafty grass or moss, stones, sand….explore, enjoy, and please share how yours turns out!


8 Responses to ideas for a merry, thrifty Valentine’s Day

  • Priscilla, Kelsey's mom says:

    The flowers are soooo pretty! What a thoughtful gift!

  • CK says:

    I absolutely love the flower bouquet decor!!! : ) You are awesome at making stuff, Stacy!!!

  • Ashley says:

    Love this post and especially those flowers! I love the wreath that was on the website, too. Although, I already have an amazing wreath on my door already :)

  • Ray says:

    That was a great card you composed at American Greetings. We loved it with the pictures we had not seen of the little grand daughters. The way it was composed it was actually better than the Internet card company one of our friends has and sends cards regularly.

  • Christina Whan says:

    I knew before I read your post that you were going to suggest waiting until after Valentine’s Day to shop. I remember that really big cheesy 4 foot card! I tried this on the kids for Christmas. At the beginning of December I suggested celebrating Christmas a week late so I could take advantage of after Christmas sales. They looked at me like I had lost my marbles. We celebrated on Christmas day.
    I love your thoughts on choosing to love someone. Struggling with health issues over the past 2 year and having multiple surgeries, I haven’t been exactly a low maintenance wife and at times haven’t looked my best. My husband has chosen to love me at every moment even when I’m cranky or not feeling well. That is true love and I’m so thankful my husband knows that God has placed us together and that we are to stick by each other and love each in sickness and in health.
    Great blog post! Love it!

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