In my marriage, some of the most memorable evenings
have also been the least expensive. Sure, I have enjoyed the
bouquets and the boxes of chocolate, but it's the folk music
in the ski lodge,
the sips of Chardonnay on our summer porch swing, and the
nights spent reading in bed, side by side, that really stand
Anyone can splurge on a formal dinner or a pricey bottle
of perfume, but it takes creativity, fore-thought, and time
to be truly romantic. The key lies in personalizing
Here are ten ideas to fuel your own creativity.
Empty a box of chocolate (either into your mouth or onto
a plate...) Then cut out 50 to 100 hearts from lace doilies,
construction paper, or fabric. On each cutout, record
something about him that you love. Be specific, "The
way you smell when you come to bed at night," "The
way you take care of me when I'm sick," or simply "Your
recipe for pancakes."
variation: Write down 100 cherished memories
of your life together. Fold the cutouts, place them in
the chocolate box, and top with a red satin bow. The time
you spend coming up with these ideas will contribute to your
own romantic mood, and what he thinks is a plain box of chocolates
will be a gift he'll keep close to his heart forever. And,
you can add to the box each year.
Make Some Romance for
Build a romantic fire.
Before the kids go to bed, have fun roasting marshmallows.
After their lights are out, host your own indoor picnic,
complete with a bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Recreate your first date together.
What were you wearing? Where did you go? Do you remember what
you talked about? Spend the evening reminiscing and reflecting
on how far you've come as a couple.
a book in which you are both interested, fiction or nonfiction. Read a new chapter each night before bed. This cozy
tradition will allow you to spend some quality time together
and often makes for thought-provoking breakfast conversations.
Make a tape of the songs special to your relationship.
Include "your song," songs from your wedding, songs
from favorite movies. Add a personal voice dedication and
leave it in his briefcase, Walkman, or car stereo.
Turn off the TV.
Kidnap your husband. Arrange for a babysitter for
a few hour--or a few days. A friend of mine had a lot of
success with this one. She knew her husband had always wanted
to get married in Vegas, but he had agreed to a large, formal
ceremony hosted by her family.
So, after they had been married
she surprised him at work with a packed suitcase. They caught
an evening flight and renewed their vows before an Elvis
impersonator in a Vegas chapel. Years later, they're still
talking about it.
This one requires a babysitter, too. Next time you're visiting
your parents or in-laws, leave the kids with their grandparents
and travel to another town, where no one will recognize
you. Check into a hotel or B&B. Dress like another
woman. Act like another woman. It's fun to slip into
another persona from time to time.
a scavenger hunt. Write a few poems, wrap candy kisses
inside, and hide them around the house. Each poem should be
a clue to finding the next one. Make sure the final clue lands
your man someplace you want to end up for the entire evening.
A romance package, including a bottle of champagne and new
lingerie, is a nice touch.
Create a memory this Valentine's
Day, not with your pocketbook but with your imagination.
Copyright © 2003 Susie Cortright