(BPT) - Valentine's Day is all about celebrating love. While the focus may naturally shift to romantic partners, it's also the perfect time to honor your closest friends and family.
Whether you're going full-on Galentine's Day - celebrating Valentine's with your gal pals - or you simply want to send a smile and show you care for your best friends near and far, here are five ideas for making loved ones feel special and appreciated.
Put feelings into words
Don't assume your loved ones know how you feel. Put those thoughts down in words and share them on Valentine's Day. You don't have to be a writer to express how much you appreciate friends and family. Whether a special email, thoughtful social post or traditional handwritten letter, open your heart and share how much they mean to you.
Not sure where to start? Think about all the reasons they make you smile and share the list. Say you're grateful for your relationship, and provide a few reasons why. Spend some time reminiscing and then share a heartfelt story or two that has stuck with you over time. There's no specific formula as long as you speak from the heart.
Go better than bouquets
Bouquets of flowers in various hues are a traditional gift on Valentine's Day. The problem is, even if you tend to them properly and keep the water in the vase fresh, cut flowers will wilt and die. Alternatively, consider potted plants that will live on, the ideal symbol of your lasting love.
Some options: A potted flower adds a fresh scent and pop of color indoors or out. Some potted plants - like a snake plant or a money plant - are great indoors for improving air quality. Potted herb plants put fresh flavor within reach in the kitchen. Air plants are especially good for people without a green thumb because they require minimal care.
Create a sumptuous meal
Food is a love language all its own, so consider making a luxurious homemade meal for your favorite friends and family. Whether you invite over one person or a group, this is your opportunity to show you care by filling their bellies and hearts with goodness.
Perhaps you're known for a certain dish and can make that? Maybe you want to try that new cooking trend and create some unique dishes to nosh on? Is now the time to try that fine cuisine you've been hearing all about? No matter what you choose, don't forget wine pairings for an extra special touch.
Cheers to a day of love
A delicious wine is the perfect pair to food and friends on Valentine's Day. Perhaps no one knows this better than partner and winemaker Stephanie Rivin, who created French Blue wines with the goal of giving an American twist to Bordeaux, making intriguing yet accessible French offerings for all.
"When you're making a meal and honoring friends, raising a glass and toasting to love is a joy of life, or as the French say, joie de vivre," said Rivin, who shared these pairing suggestions for a memorable Valentine's experience:
- Crémant de Bordeaux Brut with oysters is a memorable starter
- Bordeaux Rouge is ideal with a rich main course such as steak
- End on a sparkling note with a Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé paired with chocolate mousse or even a cheese course
- When in doubt, Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc are also classic, versatile choices
Consider acts of kindness
Everyone has to-do lists longer than there are hours in the day. If you want to lighten a loved one's load, take the time to help them on Valentine's Day. Not only will this show them you care, it will relieve some stress so they can feel extra loved on this special day.
For example, offer to run a nagging errand or come over to their house to do their least-favorite chore. Say you'll watch their kids or pet sit so they can get away without worries. Come over to help them fix something they've put off for a while - whether computer problem or leaky sink. You offering to help and following through will definitely make an impact.
No matter what you choose to do, remember that Valentine's Day isn't just about romance. Your friends and family are loves of your life, too.