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Make the Most of Valentine's Day or Any Day

15 unique, inexpensive ways to show your love

Does the thought of one more Valentine's Day gift of roses and chocolate feel fatally ho-hum? Is there another day that you want to make romantic and special? Then resist the roses-and-chocolate script and write another. Here are 15 novel suggestions, one of which will surely capture your imagination and your partner's heart.

See also: 11 classic songs to get you in the mood for love.

hands holding candle in heart-shaped candle holder

Show the one you love how much you care without spending a lot of money. — Photo by Amana Images/Getty Images

1. Dress up and pretend it's your first date. A little fantasy can go a long way. Look your best and have your partner pick you up and pretend to be meeting you for the first time. Give a corsage or a gift to impress a first date (something sweet but not overly expensive). Carry the theme on through dinner and, if you dare, keep in character when you go to bed — for the first time.

2. Go to a chocolate factory. A box of chocolates may be boring, but a whole factory can be luscious. There are many boutique chocolate companies; find one and learn about the best of the best. Buy a stash for each other and overindulge. Remember, phenalythamine, an ingredient in chocolate, is an aphrodisiac, but only if you eat a lot of it!

3. Throw a party for couples who have been married as long as you. Celebrate with your closest friends who have also been in a long-term relationship. Make it a potluck dinner with the proviso that everyone brings a romantic food. At the table, everyone should talk about their first impressions of their partner — and when they knew he or she was "the one." It should be a very sweet dinner party.

4. The couple that bakes together … Cooking together can be a very intimate, even sensual experience. Get a cookbook and make an outrageous dessert — or take a class and have someone guide your culinary masterpiece. Go out to dinner, but come home to celebrate afterward with your joint creation.

5. Have a Valentine's Day party for your grandchildren. Help your grandchildren make Valentine cards, play checkers with chocolate and red hearts or go on a hearts scavenger hunt. Older grandchildren? Take them out for a special dinner or make your own ice cream and finish it off with an array of fabulous toppings of their choosing. Over indulge yourself! Make sure you have some alone time afterward and toast each other with more-grown-up libations.

Next: Sophisticated and sexy. »

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