Celebrating the holiday of love in our community
February 12, 2022
Flowers, chocolates, and pink and red galore! From unique local gift shops to decadent treats sold at local bakeries, South Jersey knows how to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Throughout this package, you can read students’ perspectives, learn how to make special Valentine’s Day treats, and print out your very own Valentines. We hope you LOVE it!
Gift ideas from local stores that your Valentine will love
Valentine’s Day is a holiday with the second-most amount of spending during the year, only following Christmas. Gifts for girls typically include baked goods, jewelry, and flowers. This holiday, consider shopping local for your loved one, and purchase unique items that they will never forget.
For getting baked goods, there are numerous bakeries in South Jersey that provide special items for the holiday.At Sugar Plum Bakery, they are selling multi-layered heart cakes and the Valentine’s Day classic, red velvet with cream cheese icing. Around this time of year, numerous bakeries are offering their typical products with customization to make their day extra special.
Finally at Dulce’s Artisanal Pastry, their special Valentine’s Day menu features an assortment of delicacies, perhaps the most impressive being their assortment of French macarons. More items on their menu include mousse cakes, confection boxes, and a cherry wine broken heart.
Jewelry for Valentine’s Day is a huge way to make it special for individuals. The local jewelry store, Morton & Rudolph Jewelers have been in South Jersey for over 40 years, being a special part of this community. While their primary function is for engagement rings and wedding bands, they also sell a variety of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets to satisfy customers.
An additional jeweler that is a huge part of South Jersey jewelry is Spivak Jewelers. They sell engagement rings, wedding bands, and fashion jewelry. They take pride in their South Jersey roots and enjoy selling special items to this community. For this season, they are featuring rose gold rings and jewelry to accent the pink for Valentine’s Day.
What would Valentine’s Day be without a beautiful bouquet of flowers? You could opt for classic red roses or a colorful and fun bouquet. South Jersey offers a wide array of flower shops to go to for your loved one.
To begin, at Jacqueline’s Florists, they are offering bouquets of pink flowers with baby breaths, the classic red rose bouquet, and a beautiful bouquet of multicolored flowers to offer a unique twist to Valentine’s Day. An additional boutique that offers Valentine’s Day specials is Sam’s Flowers. You can select from a variety of designs or even choose to customize your own beautiful bouquet.
This Valentine’s Day, choose to shop locally from stores in your South Jersey community. These businesses are able to thrive during this holiday season and you are able to contribute to your local economy. All of these stores and more offer Valentine’s Day specials in order for you and your loved ones to have the best holiday possible.
Six heartfelt activities to do at home
No need to make a reservation or worry about planning the perfect date night. Here are six ways to celebrate the holiday of love from the comfort of your own home.
Make an at home movie theater
Sure, going to the movie theater can be fun, but so can having a movie night at home. What’s better than snuggling up to your favorite rom-com on Valentine’s Day with homemade popcorn, candy, and treats that won’t break your budget? This fun and creative way to celebrate will transform your living room into the coziest of movie theaters. Grab your softest blankets, fluffiest pillows, comfiest slippers, and enjoy!
Become your own personal chef
If you can’t go out to eat, make something at home. From chocolate covered strawberries, to homemade heart shaped pizzas, the possibilities are endless. Cooking is a great activity that you can do with whoever you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with, or even by yourself! You would be surprised at how delicious something you cook can be.
Channel your inner artist
You do not need to have any artistic talent to do this, which is what makes it so much fun. Pick out something to paint together, set up canvases in your living room, and get creative! Some ideas for this include downloading free coloring pages and paint by numbers. You can also search various Pinterest boards for ideas.
Have a self-care night
Being stuck at home during Valentine’s Day can be very boring and dull, which is why an at home spa is a perfect activity to do to refresh your body, mind, and spirit. Treat yourself to beautifully scented candles, bath bombs, face masks, lotions and self-care products. Even if you are just able to turn your house lights on dim, and play some soft and relaxing music, taking time to unwind is beneficial for everyone.
Design a scrapbook
Do-it-yourself projects are always fun, but creating something special is always better with someone you care about. Buy a plain scrapbook at any craft store and print out your favorite pictures. You can decorate this with stickers, markers, glitter, yarn, fabric, sequins…whatever your heart desires! You can even include some of your favorite memories together, such as movie and concert stubs, the menu from your first date,
inside jokes, and anything else that connects you to your special someone.
Want the night off from cooking? Ordering in from your favorite restaurant is a stress-free way to spend your night. Set out your fanciest tablecloth, light candles, and dress in an outfit that you love. Going out isn’t the only way to enjoy your Valentine’s Day.
What to get your special someone
How local bakeries are spreading the love with Valentine’s Day treats
When you walk into any bakery around this time of year, I can assure you that it will be a pink and red paradise. From cakes to cookies, Valentine’s Day is an immensely popular time to get special treats for your special someone. So many different bakeries in our community sell cute and tasty delicacies, and here are a few.
Gallos Bakery is a family owned local bakery located in Mount Laurel, Marlton, and Cherry Hill. They have all kinds of different baked goods ranging from three tiered cakes to bite sized cake pops. Jennifer Mulcahy, owner and manager of their main location in Mount Laurel, said they have to do a lot of preparation for Valentine’s Day, as it is one of their busiest days. This Valentine’s Day, their treats include “heart shaped cakes, chocolate mousse cups, strawberry whipped cheese tartlets, buttercream heart cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, assorted gourmet cupcakes and cookies” said Mulcahy. Gallos is closed on Mondays, and this year Valentine’s Day happens to be on a Monday. Because of this, they are encouraging everyone to place their orders for Sunday, so they can be as fresh as possible.
The name of this unique bakery is very accurate. Known for their plethora of different buttercream filling flavors, and incredible decorating skills, Sweet Eats has a multitude of Valentine’s day themed items. They specialize in heart shaped cakes, and chocolate covered strawberries, as they are their most popular Valentine’s Day items. Justin Burt, manager of the location in Voorhees, said that Valentine’s Day has always been a very busy time at the store, but especially now that it falls on the same weekend as the Super Bowl. “Our most popular product to sell on Valentine’s Day is the chocolate covered strawberries. They are a hit” Burt said. Along with having chocolate strawberries, they also have other tiny and tasty desserts. For example, heart cookies, chocolate hearts on sticks, chocolate truffles and more. Sweet Eats also makes other festive treats for holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and the Fourth of July. From all of these different holidays, “Valentine’s Day is definitely up there at the top of the list for most popular,” Burt said. Sweet Eats Valentine’s Day desserts will definitely make your day even sweeter!
Nothing Bundt Cakes:
Nothing Bundt Cakes this Valentine’s Day season has “Nothing Bundt” cute Valentine’s treats! This new-to-Cherry Hill bakery offers a variety of different packages and gifts that are perfect for your Valentine. Jessica Boese, one of the Cherry Hill locations’ managers, is excited to experience her first Valentine’s day in this area. They are expecting, and have already received, many orders of their special Valentine’s Day themed items. In holiday spirit, their most popular flavor is red velvet: “red velvet is definitely our top selling flavor so far during Valentine’s Day, and it is no surprise as the vibrant red is perfect for the occasion” said Boese. Their top selling Valentine’s Day item is the “bundtlet tower.” This contains a mini bundt cake (what they are best known for) and one of their themed gifts.You can choose any gift that they have at the store, and wrap it in your choice of ribbon color. Themed cake toppers are also wildly popular to get put on your bundt cake. They have ones that say “love you to pieces”, and “you complete me.” In addition to their desserts, they also have knick knacks that you can buy. They carry cards, mugs, bags, key chains, and lots of other gifts! They even have a whole section of their store dedicated to these love themed items.
There are so many mouth-watering treats in the South Jersey area. Support the community by stopping by any of these local bakeries. Whether you or your sweetheart are craving chocolates or cheesecakes, strawberries or sprinkles, or just a cookie with a good crumble, you won’t have to look far to find the perfect dessert for someone, even if it’s just you.
Valentine’s Day by the numbers
Julia Rosten (’24)
How to make origami hearts
How to make Valentine’s Day fudge
Valentine’s Day should be celebrated
Although some consider it an irrelevant holiday, there is nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day. In fact, its meaning is arguably of more importance than any other national holiday; while holidays like Easter and Christmas are religion-based and the 4th of July and Thanksgiving are seen as problematic to many, Valentine’s Day celebrates one of the most important values of life and can be celebrated by anyone anywhere on the globe. In a society where acts of affection are much-needed and even lacking, Valentine’s Day places an important emphasis on love.
One of the biggest misunderstandings that come with Valentine’s Day comes from the lack of celebration amongst single people. But who said Valentine’s Day only belonged to couples? Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a holiday reserved only for celebrating romantic love; other forms of love such as friendship and familial love can also be celebrated. Instead of using Valentine’s Day to mourn our uneventful romantic lives, we should start treating Valentine’s Day like an excuse to celebrate the positive relationships in our lives—and as an excuse to celebrate in general. Events like COVID-19 and the sluggishness of academic spirit during the middle of the year explain the overall tiredness and even burnout many seem to face during this time. There’s nothing wrong with another excuse to brighten it up a bit with holiday cheer. Chocolate, candy, roses, teddy bears, cute stationary, fun outings—who would turn down any of these things?
A last noteworthy criticism of Valentine’s Day focuses on unrestrained consumerism within stores. As soon as it hits January 2nd and the holiday music stops, stores like Walmart do a 180 degree turn and incorporate dozens of red and white Valentine’s Day items into their stock. One big criticism of Valentine’s Day is that nowadays, people put too much emphasis on these monetary-based items, making it seem more and more like these items make the holiday when rather it’s the precious quality time you spend with your loved ones. While this criticism isn’t necessarily a flaw (gifting is a valid love language), if this is a concern to you, it has an easy fix. All it takes to turn this holiday from a drag to the fun celebratory occasion it really is is a simple change of mentality. This Valentine’s Day, in addition to showing your love through store-bought items, also prepare a craft or organize some quality time.
Valentine’s Day should not be celebrated
Valentine’s Day… A holiday means to celebrate and praise love with gifts and affection. WRONG! Valentine’s Day, known by many as the Day of Love, is one big gimmick that is intended to be a marketing tool for businesses. These businesses are here to take away all your money during the month of February. Even though individuals can take the argument that Valentine’s Day does not have to be about the physical showering of teddy bears, chocolate, and roses, the holiday puts way too much pressure on relationships. Valentine’s Day should not be a holiday that should be commemorated; love can be shown in other more genuine forms every day, instead of solely on the 14th of February.
We often see advertisements of the holiday projected on our TVs, billboards, posters, and flyers. There is a similar theme that they all share: each expresses love in the form of materialistic things. Valentine’s can make you question the true pure definition of love. Sure, a person can express their love in the form of gift-giving, but that shouldn’t be the revolving focus of a healthy relationship. Love doesn’t require a big expensive night out or an extravagant pearl necklace as gifts. Valentine’s Day puts pressure onto couples to buy an intricate five dollar Hallmark card to show their appreciation for their significant other or a bouquet of roses to appear “gentlemanly” or “ladylike”. The holiday can make the “love of your life” feel obligated to buy a nice gift because of the title of the day attached to the 14th of February. If one person forgets or voluntarily decides to not get the other a gift, it may be at the expense of the other person getting mad or upset. Over not getting a gift on Valentine’s day… how ridiculously shallow!
Love is so much more than a bouquet of fresh red roses or a heart shaped box of assorted chocolates. Why is there a need for a holiday to be designated to “truly” show your love for your significant other. Even though there’s nothing that says that Valentine’s Day cannot celebrate friendships or single individuals, it still makes those without a Valentine’s feel bad or alone. So this Valentines Day, remember that the holiday is just a cheesy day in February that does not genuinely display love.
Did you know?
Right click to save and send to your Valentine!
By: Julia Rosten (’24)