Think outside the (candy) box this Valentine's Day. If you're normally a romantic-dinner-and-flowers type, try hosting a party instead. Playful games and activities will bring a smile to their faces. Use your imagination to make valentines from everyday objects and surprise your friends and loved ones with your flair.
Valentine's Day Lottery
According to History.com, during the first few centuries A.D. the Romans customarily matched single men and women by holding a drawing. The young women placed their names in an urn and each young man drew one out. The couples stayed together for one year and often married after their time spent together.
In honor of this Roman custom, invite single friends to a valentine lottery party. This would work well for tweens and teens, as well as adults. Decorate an urn or other container with ribbons and lace. Stamp hearts on sheets of card stock and cut them into strips. Punch a hole at one end of each strip with a paper punch and attach a tiny red pencil with a piece of ribbon or string. At the beginning of the party, ask each female to write her name on a strip of paper and drop it into the decorated container. Ask each male to draw a strip and pair up with the female whose name he drew. Make it a rule that the new couples stay together during the party. Plan games for the guests to play as couples.
Plan a Love Slave Day for a couple or for a group of friends. Choose one person as the love slave by drawing straws, flipping a coin or picking a number. On Valentine's Day, the love save is obligated to do everyone else's bidding. Set up rules to exclude any illegal, immoral or weird demands, or make a list of the tasks or favors to be performed so the love slave knows what's expected and the game doesn't go on too long. If you play the game again, each former love slave is immune from being chosen until everyone else in the group has served.
Make Love Spoons
Instead of valentines or greeting cards, give love spoons. Adam King is a Welsh craftsman who writes that, according to legend, "Welsh love spoons have been given as as love tokens since the 17th century," when young men started carving simple designs into wooden spoons. A common theme was a heart, a key or a keyhole. Eventually, the designs became more elaborate and the spoons became decorative objects rather than practical kitchen utensils.
Draw designs on new wooden spoons freehand or use stencils. Paint your designs or color them with markers. Add the names of your recipients and Valentine's Day messages in the bowl area of the spoons. If you like, buy small wooden hearts, paint them or write messages on them, and glue them to the tops of the handles. Or glue a piece of ribbon to the back of each heart and tie it to the spoon handles.