by Celine De Capite

Ti amo!

Aloha wau iā ‘oe!

Je t’aime!

and the millions of other ways to say “I love you”. Valentine’s day is around the corner!

What’s not to love about love? Valentine’s day is not just a holiday for the smitten, it is a day to tell all the people you love how much you love and appreciate them.

Many people feel lonely and frustrated on Valentine’s day, and the stress of social distancing and remote interaction does not help. This is why I believe Valentine’s day should be celebrated by one and all, no matter your relationship status. Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year; for those of you who may have forgotten the date, it’s February 14th! If you are last minute and find yourself searching: “what to do for Valentine’s day,” the day before Valentine’s day, this article has got you covered. This year you will not be stuck with eleventh-hour roses and subpar take-out, I assure you.

This guide will help you celebrate all kinds of love, because God knows we all need more of it!

For the People who Really Don’t Care

It’s just another regular day for you, carry on as you were. On the same token, you did click on this article… If I were you I would stick around for a great read and some funky things to do, just remove the bells and whistles and you’re good to go.

For the Singleton

There is nothing better than spoiling yourself. Self Care is becoming a growing aspect of personal health. Self care is not putting on a face mask and drawing a bath, it’s doing what you want when you want to make you feel good about yourself. I believe Valentine’s day is the best day to show yourself how much you love you, and the only time you can be your own valentine! You have no obligations other than taking care of you and only you. Here are some things you can do by yourself:

First, buy yourself some fancy takeout (the kind that is mouth-watering and delectable). I would recommend trying something new or out of your comfort zone to invite excitement. Savor the food and enjoy the peace that comes with being single. If you are feeling a bit lonely don’t be afraid to facetime a friend or “accidentally” facetime your hot coworker. 

Second, put on your favorite playlist and dance the night away. I don’t care if you are the machoest of macho men – “get up offa that thing” and let yourself loose. There is something therapeutic about dancing: it releases endorphins and dopamine, according to a UC Berkeley study on the effects of dance. Furthermore, dopamine is a love chemical and because of this you will love yourself more after your dance party.

If you are feeling the effects of being single on the “most romantic” day of the year, you can ignore the holiday all together. Do not go on social media at all, and do not watch a Valentine’s day movie. These activities can aggravate anxiety and loneliness. Rather, do something that makes you happy. Yes, today is about celebrating love, so love yourself and listen to what you need. To clear your mind you can head down to Whyte Avenue and take a walk to see some gorgeous ice sculptures on the Boardwalk Ice on Whyte show.

For Friends & Roommates

Photo: Harmony Lynn

Whether you call it galentine’s day, palentine’s day or even embracing your bromances, Valentine’s day is a day worth spending with friends. Here are a couple of ways you can have the best day with your boon companions:

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year, gather your roomies (and just your roommates to be safe) and facetime your pals. for a DIY high tea brunch.  Together, pick out a couple of different sandwiches, biscuits and pastries to make. Next, set the table with your fanciest ceramics, warm a pot of tea and put on the cheesiest Valentine’s day movie you know (here are some classics). You can even watch Edmonton Opera’s special Valentine’s day performance together. Now pinkies up, for a lovely high noon tea and biscuits.

If you are not into having brunch you can always suit up for a fun day outdoors. There are so many zany things to do in Edmonton, so why not take your roommates on an adventure. Pack up the car and head to Elk Island for a snowshoeing adventure. Or go tubing with friends down three of Edmonton’s ski hills.

If your friends live far and wide, facetime or zoom them – they will be pleasantly surprised by your call. It’s always a good idea to tell the people you care about how grateful you are that they are in your life. Or send them a nice text: “Hey, I just wanted to thank you for being such a great friend.” A nice check in is always appreciated.

For Families

Occasionally, they do drive us nuts, but if you are stuck with your family this V-day, cherish the time you have together. The easiest way to have a fun family Valentine’s day is with a pyjama party. Grab your best red, white and pink Pj’s and do some crafts and baking.

Grab the glitter glue because it’s time to make a cheesy card. Make cards together and write some things you love about your family. Or, you can grab some paint and blank canvases and follow along to a step-by-step painting tutorial on Youtube. The winner gets to choose dinner later.

Next, make and decorate some cocoa bombs. Cocoa bombs have been the latest baking craze: they consist of a hard chocolate exterior, and are then filled with hot chocolate powder, marshmallows sprinkles, and whatever else you can fit into the shell.

If your family is the outdoorsy type, you might like checking out the Silver Skate Festival in Hawrelak Park (Feb 12-21). The festival includes skating and cultural activities. There will not be any gathering but families can stay within their cohort group and participate in DIY festival activities. 

For Lovers

photo: Andrew DS

You may be wondering why the “lovers” section is at the bottom of this list. First off, we all loathe you at the lowest degree. And frankly, I wanted to make you read the whole article first, because we all know you are gonna get some tonight, it’s only fair. But oh to be in love. There is something spectacular about it, whether it’s the smiles, the laughs or the kisses. Valentine’s day is not about gifts or fancy over the top dinners – it’s about love. So here are my top picks for an intimate Valentine’s day with your lover:

Staying home is at the top of people’s minds, and for good reason. Many couples default to a simple home cooked meal or takeout. Instead, let the Citadel theater take care of the dinner and the show. They are presenting  Living Room Love Songs. A very private serenade from one living room to another. And for desert, well I can’t tell you what desert, but I can definitely tell you it’s not located at the dinner table.

If you and your partner are close at heart but far apart you can do the same competition over Facetime. Or send your partner two dishes from a local restaurant near them – the catch is you can’t tell your partner what you picked out. You can even catch the online virtual experience The Science of Sex from the Telus World of Science.

There is something about the pulse of city lights that is so relaxing. I would recommend packing your favorite hot cocoa. You can take a nice drive to see the city’s skyline and park at one of the city’s best lookout points. Park, and turn on some calm romantic music, and do be sure your seats can recline!

For the Author?

And I, dear reader, will be spending Valentine’s Day Facetiming with my friends who are near and far. I will also treat my family to a lovely (restriction-friendly) day trip to Lake Louise, paired with an afternoon high tea. I have had my share of bad dates for now, and I am humbled to spend this day with the people whom I love most. 

Lastly, I hope no matter how you celebrate the holiday of love I hope it’s filled with love and joy, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Boardwalk Ice on Whyte Sculpture Tour
Downtown and Old Strathcona
Starts Saturday, February 13

Silver Skate Festival
Hawrelak Park
Friday February 12 to Sunday February 21