Celebrating Valentine’s Day for the First Time in 2021

Valentine's Day 2021 - Boston Moms

Truthfully, this title is a little misleading.

My husband has always made an effort to get me flowers or my favorite candy for Valentine’s Day. But my birthday is the week just before Valentine’s Day, so I’ve never put much emphasis on the 14th. I’d much rather celebrate my birthday and move on to the kid’s in March. My husband doesn’t care for all the extra attention the holiday brings, and we reserve any real effort and planning for our anniversary and birthdays. 

But I’ve decided that in 2021 we need to celebrate as much as we can!

Not in a capitalistic “buy all the Hallmark cards” way, but in a way that makes every holiday about celebrating love. I’m not sure which of these we’re going to do, but I’ve come up with a few ideas that will work no matter what mood strikes. Whether you’ve decided to celebrate your love indoors or outdoors, I have a few suggestions to help you center the holiday around reconnection.

The standard dinner date — with a twist

One thing 2020 reinforced for me is that not all love is romantic! After a year that centered us in our homes, it’s likely that many of your relationships could use some rekindling. If you plan to continue your tradition of eating food that someone else made, share the love! Food is the way to every person’s heart. Did you know you can send food to someone else — with ease — via most food apps? You can order or dine local and brighten a neighbor or friend’s day! I highly recommend ordering for friends. Pro tip: Send coffee and sweets or lunch — they likely have dinner covered on V-Day!

The getaway date 

If you’ve dated at all in the last year, you’ve been on a car date. And if you haven’t, I highly recommend it! It doesn’t require stopping anywhere unless you want to, and the price of gas is still decently low, making this my new favorite cheap date. Riding around and listening to your favorite music, a new podcast, or the sound of your spouse’s voice without interruption could be just what you need. Also very high on the list of car dates? Drive-in theaters like Mendon Twin Drive-In. You can reminisce and watch movies like “Beetlejuice” from the warmth and comfort of your car! The cost per vehicle is around $30. I grew up in a big family and think that’s a pretty great deal for a family night out. 

The homebody date 

If your date can’t start until post bedtime, why not make dessert or popcorn together while watching your favorite old movie? Most nights we stay up too late and wonder why we didn’t make the most of it. I’ve found that if we keep the plans super simple before bed, we’re more likely to follow through. Or why not invite the kids in on a fancy date meal whipped up by a local chef? Your kids will feel so special, and you’ll be relieved you don’t have to prep or leave the comfort of your home in February! 

No matter which activity you choose, or if you include your little ones, I hope you’ll decide to spend a little extra time celebrating being loved this year. 

Dashanna Hanlon grew up living in Michigan and Virginia and feels like her smile gives her away as a Midwestern-Southerner, even after a decade in Massachusetts. After earning a degree in English and Gender Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, she got a job at a local medical journal as an editorial assistant. After 3 years she thought she was done with New England and had made up her mind to start some new adventure. Before she could make the move - like in some weird romantic comedy - she met her husband Tom a Boston electrician, at Ned Devine's in Fanueil Hall. They were married on Chatham Beach, a year and a half later. Traveling between the city and New Hampshire for work, they settled on living in Merrimack Valley. She tried out a few different career paths before having her first son and was introduced to birth work. She became a doula in 2018 and runs Caring for Mamas while staying home with her sons Lucas (2) and Isaiah (7 months)! Dashanna loves her family, her friends, fresh-squeezed lemonade, singing jazz music, eating macarons made by her husband, going to New England beaches, and any good story. She could live without traffic, any technological problem, and rice cakes.