Heart Dessert

A fun heart shaped dessert could help you celebrate Valentine's Day this year. (Signal photo/ Nicole Azof)

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and with the COVID-19 pandemic causing many businesses to remain closed, people are forced to get creative with their celebration plans. As with all of the holidays of this past year, there are sacrifices that must be made in order to keep our loved ones and society as a whole safe from the deadly virus. However, that doesn’t mean we have to give up on the day of love completely. A few members of our community share how they plan to safely celebrate the special day.

While romantic, candle lit dinners at fancy restaurants used to be the go-to for Valentine’s Day, the lack of indoor dining has forced us to find alternative ways of enjoying our favorite meals with our loved ones. One common solution is to order take out, and to enjoy it from the safety of home.

Sonoma State student, Emily MIller (senior, Political Science) says, “My boyfriend and I are exchanging gifts then picking up a take-out three course meal we reserved from a nice restaurant.” Lorena Jurardo (junior, Psychology) will also be staying home and enjoying sushi take out and a movie. 

An alternative to ordering takeout is making your own sweet treats at home. Victoria Bautista (junior, Liberal Studies) mentioned she will be making heart shaped brownies and putting them in a heart shaped box for her loved ones. 

We can all take a page out of Bautista’s book, and make some fun heart shaped treats. Try baking heart shaped cookies, brownies, or even a pizza. Taste of Home provides some fun Valentine’s recipes on their website

Another way that couples and singles alike have chosen to celebrate Valentine’s Day safely is to embrace the great outdoors. Modesto local, Jose Orendain, says that he plans to take his girlfriend on a picnic and Courtney Reeves (senior, Psychology) says, “I’m going on a hike by myself!” 

Bernadette Bray (senior, English) will also be taking to the outdoors this Valentine’s Day. “On the actual day my boyfriend and I will be going to the snow.” Additionally, Bray’s family will be coming along with them. “Valentine’s day is about relationships, but also celebrating with loved ones.” 

In addition to limiting our options for public activities, the pandemic has also limited our options financially. Many people have lost work due to the shutdown, and are feeling the consequences in their wallet. Luckily, diamond rings and other expensive gifts aren’t necessary to show our love for the special people in our lives. 

Mills College student, Lila Goehring (senior, English) explains that she will be sending postcards to the special people in her life to let them know she loves them. Love letters cost you nothing, and may mean everything to the person who receives them. 

Miller agrees with this, saying that Valentine’s Day is “a day to share love with everyone, tell special people in your life you love them. It’s been a hard year without seeing family and friends, sending a fun letter or giving them a call would lift spirits.” 

For more ideas on affordable Valentine’s Day gifts, here are some ideas curated by the website, Good Housekeeping

While Valentine’s Day is a special and fun celebration of love for many, it can also be a painful reminder for others. Some people may be struggling with Valentine’s Day because they are in a difficult relationship and aren’t feeling very loved, some may struggle because they lost their loved one and others may be feeling lonely because they simply haven’t found anyone to be their Valentine yet. 

For anyone who may struggle with this day, our community has some advice. Reeves suggests “they should try and find things to do for themselves or with their friends! Valentine’s Day can be a very hard day, but if they include a couple ‘self-care’ things into their day it might make them feel a little better! At least that’s what I do when I’m single.”

Leydy Valdez (junior, Psychology) agrees, pointing out that, “You don’t really need [anyone] else to celebrate this day. Go out and spoil yourself.” Bautista suggests students can do something relaxing for themselves, such as “binge watching Rom-Coms and eating tacos.” 

Goehring speaks on the potential difficulties of Valentine’s Day. “I think that from a positive side, Valentine’s Day may help us be grateful for what we do have and who we have during the pandemic, but I worry it will make those of us who are lonely even lonelier and even resentful. To anyone struggling, I invite you to be your own best friend and own Valentine...not just this year, but always.”

However you choose to celebrate, whether it be with loved one’s or by yourself, we hope that you take the time to appreciate yourself and those in your life. While the world struggles to handle the burden of the ongoing pandemic, we could all use a little more love in our lives.

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