Although the history surrounding the third century Roman soldier named Valentine is clouded with differing details, his sainthood by the Middle Ages popularized the event we now call Valentine’s Day. However it has been celebrated in the past, from notes of endearment or small tokens of affection our retail culture has established Valentine’s Day as one of the largest holidays of the year, particularly for candy and flower merchants. If you are looking for ways to enjoy the holiday without going broke, here are a few suggestions to make the holiday special.
Chocolate truffles with a twist
Although the term derives from a type of tuber or fungus that is coveted particularly in France and Italy – I am not referring to a fungus, but a little lump of chocolate. If you have an artisan chocolatier in your area, check out the wonderful variety of truffles being hand crafted today. Each one of these wonderful delicacies can run a dollar or two and have hints of exotic flavorings which include liqueurs, chili peppers, bits of candy and toffee, herbal flavors and even coffee and tea concoctions.
If you have no local chocolate artisans and are planning to send your gifts online this year, give yourself enough lead time to get the orders in so that you don’t have to pay rush charges on shipping.
Make them yourself
Why not try making truffles yourself and hand delivering them? Melt chocolate baking chips with various flavorings, chill, scoop with a melon ball tool, form into a ball and roll in a variety of toppings from crushed nuts to coconut flakes to powdered semisweet chocolate to sea salt to – well you get the idea.
Check out your favorite cookbook or online recipe source. They are surprisingly easy. And for a wonderful container – recycle the grocery store sushi containers. You know the ones – they are decorative with a dark plastic bottom and a clear lid. Tie with a gold ribbon or raffia and a heart shaped tag.
Flowers from the grocery store
Although you may not feel you have time for this extra step this year – try arranging the flowers you give – yourself. Becoming familiar with what type of flowers are available at which stores and planning ahead to decide what colors to give will help direct you to the unique container to use for your bouquet. You local antique mall will provide lots of great containers – from a bait bucket to a cowboy boot (with a simple glass insert). Be creative and you can really impress your closest pals.
There are so many online options
The online options are many from flowers to fruit to nuts and handmade gifts. However you celebrate the day – from an easy online purchased flower or gift – to a crafted with love from your kitchen delight, write a personal note of love or affection and spread some cheer.
Mary Ann Rosenthal is a grandmother to four beautiful children under the age of five. She is dedicated to helping her friends and family save money and works with her son Aaron at CyberMondayDeals.com. She is also an artist, writer and aspiring photographer living in Saint Augustine, Florida.