“It’s not about the materialistic things. It’s about the quality time,” says Cookie Corner store manager Crystal R. about the meaning of Valentine’s Day. “It’s not always about spending money, but about being thoughtful.”
Gaining popularity in the 15th century as a day to express love, February 14 has become a celebration between not just couples, but families, friends, and admirers.
“It’s a day to take time aside to show how much you appreciate the people you care about,” says Hallmark sales associate Courtney Poole, who plans to show her appreciate toward her mom, dad, and immediate family by either going out to eat or making a home-cooked meal.
For Jamie Sumida of the Sanrio Café, Saint Valentine would be pleased to know that she will be spending time with her significant other as she shares some homemade heart-shaped cookies and a homemade card.
Sumida also suggests that good ways to save money are to go to the beach, have a picnic at the park, or cook dinner at home.
Aside from the tradition flowers, jewelry, and chocolate, homemade gifts have found themselves at the top of many people’s list for gift ideas.
“It’s good to get practical things – not necessarily what people want, but what they need,” says Poole. “Planting things, trying to grow things, and also making things yourself are good ways to show appreciation.”
Adding to the Valentine’s Day repertoire, music has also found its place on this day.
“Songs by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey are always good on Valentine’s Day,” says Sumida, who also suggests songs by Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis.
“Aaliyah is my favorite. She has some really good songs that show love and appreciation,” says Poole.
According to VH1’s Top 100 Love Songs of All Time, Boyz II Men ranks at # 84 with “I’ll Make Love to You”, while Whitney Houston ranks at #1 with “I Will Always Love You”.
Other love songs that made the list are “Open Arms” at #4 by Journey, “Fly Me to the Moon” at #17 by Frank Sinatra, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” at #32 by Stevie Wonder, and “Baby, I Love Your Way” at #76 by Peter Frampton.
At the local level, some of the most current popular love songs on heavy rotation are “Butterflies” by Trey Smoov featuring Fiji and Jboog, “No Other Love” by the Common Kings, “Just Like That” by Irie Love, and “Gotta Know Your Name” by the Rebel Souljaz.
For those who would like to spend less money and more quality time with that special person or group of loved ones, you can still find gifts under $20.
Cookie Corner offers giant cookies, Sanrio Surprises offers goodies for under $5, and Hallmark has those perfect cards and trinkets that say exactly how you feel.
But, the most important thing about February 14?
“Make sure you know exactly what the day means. It’s about showing you care,” says Poole.