By Navy Spouse and blogger, Joanna. Read more about her and her work at the end of this post.
Before my husband (then-fiance) deployed to Afghanistan last year, we had only spent one Valentine‚Äôs Day together. It was an amazing date, and since John would be deployed over Valentine‚Äôs, I thought I would recreate the Italian dinner date with a care package. We were able to spend a few minutes on Skype on Valentine‚Äôs Day and even toasted each other with a pair of plastic champagne flutes. Our date was far from traditional– John ate a heat-up Italian meal for his breakfast and mine was a midnight snack, but it also meant that we were sharing a meal for the first time in a long time!
If you have a deployed loved one who will be gone over Valentine‚Äôs Day, send them a date in a box. If you can‚Äôt think of a particular date you want to recreate, create a brand-new date! (Bonus points to them if they take you on it when they come home!)
Let your imagination run wild! If your date is to the beach, glue a little bit of sand (or use sandpaper) to the bottom of the box. Make waves with construction paper and attach to the sides. If it‚Äôs to a pizza parlor, use a plastic checkered tablecloth instead of scrapbook paper to decorate the inside. Short on time? Use this technique to gift wrap the inside of the box.
Plan out the ‚Äúnight.‚Äù
If the sequence of items is important, make sure you create a list, print directions, or label items so your honey knows. Since our date night was all about the dinner, I created a menu for the three-course meal and I packed it at the top of the box.¬† You could also use Post-It‚Äôs or labels to guide them through the date.
It‚Äôs easy to throw a bunch of snacks in the box and call it a night. But it‚Äôs Valentine‚Äôs Day! Add a few touches that give a little oomph‚Äîa lipstick-kissed note, a hidden Post-It with a message or cartoon. In the box I sent John, I sent a hand-warmer made from a glove and rice to represent the hand-in-hand walk we had taken the previous Valentine‚Äôs Day.
Don‚Äôt forget the Goodnight Kiss.¬†
The end of any successful date ends in a goodnight kiss. Make sure you include a Hershey Kiss with a note letting your loved one know that it‚Äôs a sweet end to the night. Hey, if you can‚Äôt have the real thing, at least you can have chocolate!
If you have access to the internet, try to plan a time when you can share the date box together. If you‚Äôre sending a meal, like I did, buy two of everything you send; you‚Äôll be able to share the same meal thousands of miles apart from each other!
¬†¬†¬†¬† Jo is the author of Jo, My Gosh!, a blog about her journey as a newlywed Navy wife. When she‚Äôs not working from home, she‚Äôs writing, reading, trying new recipes, or cross stitching.