How Do You Valentine’s Day?

In case you haven’t noticed all the pink monstrosities eating up every grocery store entrance…Valentine’s Day is upon us. ONE WEEK, PEOPLE! Social media will start spouting things about all the expectations that girls have and how all the guys are supposedly terrified of this “holiday.”

So I’m going to step in and share what hubby and I do every Valentine’s Day. It’s a tradition and I give you full permission to steal it and use it for yourself.

A Very Brandes Valentine: 

Back when we were dating, hubby (at that time known as “handsome-guy-in-whom-I-was-very-twitterpated”) called me up and asked if I was busy that evening. (Yes, the evening of Valentine’s Day.) No, of course I wasn’t busy. I was  just over at a friend’s house playing German board games. (Isn’t that what all girls do to pass the time?)

So, he drove to my town and we met up at my apartment, where we make a gigantor pazookie. (If you don’t know what a pazookie is, it’s basically a giant half-baked cookie that you can’t possibly eat on your own…topped with ice cream.)

Photo borrowed from (with a recipe included! EEP!)

And hubby whipped out a movie. “You up for a movie-night?”

It was The Sword in the Stone. Yes, the Disney cartoon. What a man. (He’s mine, ladies.)

By the next Valentine’s Day we were married so I thought it fitting to make another pazookie and pop in my favorite Disney movie: Beauty and the Beast. Funny how much better a movie can be when you’re eating cookie death and snuggling with the best person in the world. (Tweet this.)

Thus our tradition began.

Perk 1: Virtually No Planning

We alternate years choosing a Disney movie, we make some sort of dessert that will kill us (or buy one if we’re feeling lazy–which is allowed) and then we grab the fuzziest blanket and settle in.

So…in case you need ideas on Disney movies, here’s what we’ve watched over the past seven years:

  • Hubby 2011: Sword in the Stone
  • Nadine 2012: Beauty and the Beast
  • Nadine 2013: Tangled (I cheated and picked two years in a row because I really wanted to watch Tangled with hubby.)
  • Hubby 2014: Aladdin
  • Nadine 2015: Mulan (hubby thought he hated it, but then I made him watch it because ha ha, it was my turn to pick…and he ended up liking it. #iwin)
  • Hubby 2016: The Jungle Book (in preparation for the live action Jungle Book that came out that year.)
  • Nadine 2017: I STILL HAVE NO IDEA. (Tarzan? Cinderella? The Lion King?)

Perk 2: No Stress

I love love love our little tradition because it takes away any potential stress in planning something (not that we’d get stressed out anyway. Because we’re not those type of people.) Also, it makes us look forward to Valentine’s Day. (Because dessert and Disney!!!) Sometime around Christmas I start thinking, “Oooh, what Disney movie are we going to watch on V-Day?” We end up not watching many Disney movies throughout the regular year because we save them as something special for Valentine’s Day.


By the way, this tradition IS. BASICALLY. FREE. It’s not hard to rent (or buy/borrow) a Disney movie–every movie rental place in the world has them. And a pazookie is just $2 of cookie dough all plopped on a baking tray. 😛

Perk 4: It doesn’t have to be a date

So maybe you’re happily single (or unhappily single?) or you’re super young or super old OR WHATEVER. Anyone can do this. You can do a V-Day slumber party with friends (or, for the guys, a dude hangout with a lot of pop and M & Ms where your sisters donate brownies and cookies and pies). It can be a date. Or it can be a non-date. Either way, you end up with dessert and a movie. *high five*

Perk 5: You’ll never run out of movies

Chances are that Disney will produce at least one animated film per year. Sometimes even two. So you never have to worry about running out of movies! Besides, there’s huge rewatch value on some of those old originals.

So there you have it. A no-planning, stress-free, costless, fun, memorable, tasty Valentine’s Day tradition. That’s the Brandes not-so-secret secret. Now excuse me while I run to pick out this year’s movie.

Do you have a Valentine’s Day tradition?

How do you feel about V-Day? Stressed? Excited? Neutral?




About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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    I has a suggestion…it’s technically not a “Disney” movie I don’t think, but the cartoon Anastasia is my all time favorite cartoon everrrr! It’s amazing!

      Also, Anastasia is my favorite EVER and we watch it at /least/ once a year. Did you know IT’S COMING TO BROADWAY as a musical?!?! *faints*

  2. Growing up, we always got a small box of chocolates with Snoopy on it from our parents for Valentines day. So I have continued that tradition with our daughter. Other than that, we don’t really have a tradition as Hubby always had to work it in the past. This is our first year where he has a job that allows him to be home in the evenings so I’m looking forward to us finally starting a few traditions. This sounds like a great one!

    • That’s so sweet! I’m sure we’ll continue our tradition when kids come along, but my parents would give us a mug every year filled with Hershey kisses. I still have my first ever mug–reglued together (multiple times) with little pastel bunnies that says, “Some bunny loves you” 😛 I hope to continue that with kiddos because, well, MIUGS. <3

  3. We are not the most romantic of couples. We exchange small items usually a favorite tea or candy, maybe a stuffed animal (Beanie Boos!) There was that one year he bought me a house (top that, he he). Yup. We closed in our current house on Valentine’s Day. Go big or go home. Three years earlier I got a baby for my birthday (brought home our firstborn on my birthday). This year I’m more than thrilled with a bag of salted licorice.

  4. I recommend you watch The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe this year. That is my favorite Disney movie.

  5. My dad’s diabetic so I can’t steal the giant cookie part but I’m definitely stealing the Disney movie part! I’m single and will remain so for the foreseeable future, but my parents and I usually at least exchange cards and my mom and I usually have a little chocolate my dad doesn’t know is in the house. I’d love to add a Disney movie to the very short list of things we do.

  6. Melissa DeVault

    Do you guys do Valentine’s presents also or stick with the Disney and dessert date? This sounds so fun and stress free! Love this idea!

  7. Okay, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Aladdin (along with Robin Hood) are my favorite Disney movies of all time. Next year, I’m crashing your party and bringing Robin Hood! ^_~

I love hearing from you!