Plan The Perfect "Love Day" With HGTV Stars' Sweet + Unique Valentine's Day Traditions
Still need a plan for Valentine's Day 2020? Let your favorite HGTV stars light the way with their heartfelt and romantic ideas for the holiday.
My S.O., bless his gentle and selfless soul, asks for very little when it comes to his birthday and major holidays — so it's tricky business, deciding what to get him for Valentine's Day each year. I know for a fact that he'd be happy with something as simple and sweet as a bag of chocolate-covered raspberries (he tells me so whenever I ask), but I want to make him feel really special this year. Nay, spoiled.
So, naturally, I turned to the HGTV Stars — experts in all things "home," including the love that grows in it — for help. And let me just tell you that their ideas did not disappoint. Whether you're planning to celebrate with your partner, kids, parents or grandparents, or looking foward to enjoying the day all on your own, you'll find plenty of inspiration in their unique Valentine's Day traditions below.
Karen E. Laine
Husbands everywhere, take note: If you want to spoil your spouse this Valentine's Day, pick up separate treats for her and the kiddos, just like Karen E. Laine's father used to. Laine, one half of the mother-daughter home-renovation duo behind Good Bones, recalls that, every year, her father would gift each of his daughters their very own one-pound, red cellophane-wrapped box of Russell Stovers chocolates before handing his wife a larger, two-pound pink verison. And the reason why would surprise Laine many years later.
"I don't know when he started doing it, because I can't remember a time that he didn't," she explains. "It seemed out of character for him, as he generally trended practical, not sentimental."
But after talking things over with her mom, Maxine, she eventually came to a conclusion that gives us all the warm and fuzzy feelings. She realized that, by giving his daughters boxes of their own, her dad ensured "...that Mom would get to enjoy her chocolates unbothered. [...] it was his small way of showing how much he loved her."
Suffice it to say, we are swooning over this oh-so-thoughtful gesture.
Mina Starsiak Hawk
Clearly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, because Laine's daughter Mina Starsiak Hawk says that she'd take thoughtful, food-related gestures over grand Valentine's Day plans any day.
"Steve and I are no Valentine’s Day celebrators," she explains. "I used to work fine dining, so I would see two proposals each Valentine’s Day and just never got it. The ring in the dessert...I've seen it a hundred times...in one night. So, we typically treat it as any other day. We would, however, hit up White Castle!"
In other words? There's no shame (or anything sweeter, for that matter) in skipping the five-star restaurant and splitting a slider or small fry at your favorite fast food joint.
If you're not big on boxes of chocolates or bags of fast food, consider taking a page out of Tamara Day's book. The host of HGTV's 2020 Dream Home and Bargain Mansions reveals that she likes to write love notes for each of her family members.
"Every year from the 1-14th of February, I cut out hearts on pink construction paper and write a note to each of my kids and my husband every night," she says. "I tuck it under their pillow before bed so they can read my message of what I love about them before they drift off to sleep. [They're] simple things like 'I love that you come running and give me a hug when I get home' or 'I love how kind you were to your sister today.'"
And she never hesitates to share that tradition with visitors, either. "If we have a friend sleep over, I leave them a message too, to spread the love all around," Day adds.
Dog mom, human mom and host of HGTV's Love It or List It. Hilary Farr knows a thing or two about spreading the love as well. She says that one year, when her son was eight years old, she helped him create Valentine's Day cards for a girl he really liked at school and the project quickly took an adorable turn.
"He also wanted to make cards for all the other girls so they wouldn't feel left out," Farr recalls. "So, basically, he completely missed the point! We made 11 cards. It was so sweet, innocent and romantic. I made one for my husband as well."
Windy City Rehab designer Alison Victoria loves to spread the love, too, by treating her grandmother to a nice night out. She says that, "Every Valentine’s Day, I take my Yiayia (that's "grandma" in Greek) to Hank’s steakhouse in Las Vegas and watch her eat the largest piece of prime rib, then we go back to her house and watch old movies while we eat the entire box of chocolate I bought her. It’s the highlight of my year. She’s my everything."
On the other hand, HGTV's Hidden Potential star Jasmine Roth makes a pretty good case for staying in. She says that she and her husband Brett have "... a very specific Valentine's Day tradition [that] doesn't involve anything fancy — but we love it. Each year, we stay at home and make cheese fondue with all the fixings! We started simple, with a traditional gruyere cheese, bread and apples. But since we've been doing this since 2006, and add something new each year, you can only imagine how many toppings we have now!"
Roth adds that, "We love that we always know what we're doing each year, that we don't have to fight the crowds and go out, and that we have an excuse (at least one meal a year) to have a really decadent (cheesy) meal! Nothing says true love like CHEESE!" We couldn't agree more.
Speaking of eating, we'd also love to get in on Steve Ford's Valentine's Day plans. The contractor-brother behind Restored By The Fords shares that he likes to indulge in chocolate-covered pretzels from Sarris Candies in Pittsburgh on Valentine's Day.
"My parents always got us heart-shaped Sarris chocolates for Valentine's Day when we were kids," Ford says. "So the Sarris tradition lives on. And believe me, it's hard to not eat the entire box of chocolate pretzels in one sitting. But hey, Valentine's Day is a great time to treat yourself."
Okay, here's the perfect excuse to leave your Christmas tree up for a little longer: You can start a new Valentine's Day tradition inspired by HGTV's own David Bromstad. The host of My Lottery Dream Home says that he's actually planning to repurpose the seasonal staple and create a unique, Valentine's Day tree.
"Valentine’s Day was a day I celebrated with my ex because it was our anniversary," Bromstad says. "So since that’s not happening anymore, I’m starting a new tradition this year. I’m doing a Valentine’s Day tree! I’ll be decorating it soon, [and] so I’m excited!"
If it's anywhere near as impressive as his Christmas or Halloween trees from 2019 (pictured above), then we're ready to fall head over heels for this idea.