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What is a feminist to do in a world of overstuffed animals and heart-shaped boxes of candy that lands on February 14 each year? Hold onto your hairy armpits: I’m a feminist who loves Valentine’s Day. Are you surprised? I believe in equality between the genders and I believe there is optimism in love. To me, Valentine’s Day is about reminding the world that love is a powerful force. A little money can go a long way in terms of showing love.

Four ways to spread the love on Valentine’s day:

  1. Write a personal card to a relative. I’m not asking that you revisit your Christmas card list and write a billion cards. What I’m suggesting is to search through your mind for someone in your life that needs a hug, because they could probably use a card too. I have to admit this isn’t my original idea. A college roommate sent me a Valentine’s Day card a few years ago and it came at a time that her simple act really resonated with me. This year my husband and I sent a personal card to his 93-year-old great-aunt. Cost: Target and Trader Joe’s have cards for a $1 and postage is $0.49.
  2. Sea of Love, I mean Balloons. As much as I like flowers, my allergies keep them to a short list of what I can tolerate in my house. Flowers sit in a vase, but a dozen balloons (for about the same price) can be spread throughout a room to literally surround someone with love. Cost: Party City and many local grocery stores will have balloons for less than $1 each.
  3. Newlywed Shout Outs. So 2014 was “The Year of Weddings” for me, so I have a handful of people who will be part of my Facebook post celebrating their unions. You could totally annoy the world with a mushy wall post to your significant other, or you could choose to love on love. Posts like “these crazy kids got married in a forest this year and I am so thankful I got to be part of it.” As someone who recently planned a wedding, I am always so touched by people who enjoyed all the hard work that was put into the event. Don’t know anyone who got married last year? You can always write a post celebrating the Supreme Court who led to many same-sex couples out there who took the plunge too. Cost: Free Facebook post.
  4. Gifts of Presence. If you’re like me and your opinion of heart shaped jewelry is on the same level of ambivalence as your appreciation for ingrown toe nails (been there, done that, won’t get a pedicure there again), your face doesn’t light up in true excitement when you see a small box on the counter at home. As an alternative, how about giving your significant other a receipt for “charging my phone outside the bedroom.” Or roll up your sleeves and move the TV outside the bedroom. You could also set up a cell-phone free area of your house (I personally like the kitchen table). It’s easy to be connected to the world, but it can be hard to stay present with your partner. Cost: None, unless you have to buy a real alarm clock for your bedroom.