Amor en Las Cruces

January 30, 2019 pixelmark

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about the romance

Written by JACKYE MEINECKE

Valentine’s Day has become more commercial each year with added emphasis on the ‘romantic version’ of the day rather than the simple exchange of a card or small gift with children, family and friends. While we still share valentines with friends and children still exchange valentines at school, the commercial emphasis of the holiday is on romance.

Also, each year the cost associated with a romantic Valentine’s Day increases as the sales of flowers, candy, and jewelry climb. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American was predicted to spend $143.56 on gifts in 2018. As the price of many traditional valentine choices has climbed, I suggest this year’s bill could top $150.

Our first Valentine’s Day together, my companion purchased an evening with Clyde Tombaugh at his home looking at the stars through his telescopes. Mrs. Tombaugh served cocoa and cookies. It turned out the star party was held on Valentine’s Day. We both remember this special experience decades later – when a card, candy, or flowers would have been long discarded and forgotten.

All this emphasis on the flash of the day, made me ponder what are the best valentines. Like most women and many men, I would be delighted with a box of candy or bouquet of flowers. A dinner out is welcome on any day, including Valentine’s Day. Getting a card— especially a hand made one—in the mail is very special in this time of electronic communications. However, I realized shared experiences are the most lasting love token.

Pursuing this concept of treasured experiences over commercial production, I considered what possibilities might inspire others who celebrate this romantic day. Since Valentine’s Day is in the middle of the week this year, it may be hard to escape jobs and responsibilities on the official day. However, a kiss and a promise may suffice— especially if you have the tickets or program in hand.

Valentine's Day | beautiful geode rock

For example, the Museum Rocks Gem & Mineral Show at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum held on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 provides many opportunities for conversation and surprises. This event features gems and minerals from around the world in a rainbow of colors from rough to polished. The $7 tickets are available in advance; plus it is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. I’ll bet your valentine hasn’t celebrated with a tour of colorful rocks!

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American was predicted to spend $143.56 on gifts idn 2018.
Valentine's Day | wine tasting in Mesilla and Las Cruces

A day spent tasting New Mexico wines may lead to discovries of new flavors and new places. Many of the tasting rooms are located in Mesilla and Las Cruces. For example, Amaro Winery is an intimate venue for their win tastings. They also often have music and food trucks. There are several wineries in the immediate area, including Luna Rosa, St. Clair, La Vina, and others.

Valentine's Day | fresh veggie ingredients

In both of you are foodies, consider taking a cooking class together. Go the extra mile and hire a private chef to give you a hands-on cooking class in your home. Big Red Chef offers a range of cooking classes and also offers gift certificates.

Valentine's Day | planting a rose together

Cut flowers are lovely, but short-lived. However, a rose blush or other flowering plant continues to provide blooms for many years to come. Plus, you can take the opportunity to work in the garden together to plant it. For this project, success is more likely with a container plant from a local nursery that has been outdoors. Naturally, it won’t be blooming in February. Or purchase a gift certificate from a nursery to purchase a blooming rose in March or April and put a day on the calendar to spend in the garden together.

Valentine's Day | beautiful mountain under a clear blue sky
Valentine's Day | couple enjoying the blue sky

Many of us never seem to find the time for getting outdoors as much as we would like. Set a date to hike at Dripping Springs Trail Natural Area. The Dripping Springs Trail provides easy hiking through a variety of terrains with the possibility of wildlife sightings, desert birds, and plenty of scenic areas for stopping and enjoying the scenery together. Pack along a small bottle of wine, ale or champagne, some cheese and crackers for a snack when you take a break to admire the scenery.

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