Valentine’s Day seems to be a holiday people either love or they hate. I happen to have great Valentine memories, so I’m a little partial. But Hallmark holiday or not, there is no reason not to embrace a holiday that celebrates love.
I understand why it’s easy to get frustrated with this holiday. If you are single, the neon red glow of hearts in every store window might serve as an annoying reminder of just that. But why not plan a happy hour with friends to celebrate the love and support they give you? Call your parents to say I love you, have coffee with a sibling to say thanks for being there. Being reminded to show our love and gratitude is a good thing. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love.
If you are in a relationship, there can be a lot of pressure to transform into Romeo with Donald Trump’s budget for the day. I hear more jewelry commercials on the radio than I do songs these days and my email inbox has been flooded with romantic getaway ideas. I was just in a sushi restaurant this week where they were advertising their Valentine dinner special for $118. With prices like that, a $6.00 greeting card doesn’t sound so bad.
I feel like there are a lot of high expectations set and a lot of frustration when they aren’t met (or a lot of resentment when the credit card bill comes). Even more sad are the couples that don’t celebrate at all. What do you need more than love? This is a chance to pause your busy life and remember what lit that flame, celebrate what makes your love great, or an opportunity to rebuild the love that needs some extra attention.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be chocolates, and roses and pricey gifts or dinners. Our Valentine dinner tradition in my house started 16 years ago on our second date. Our first date had just been the night before (who says Friday the 13th is bad luck??), so we spent the evening at my house. I made him pizza and we rented a movie. He picked out Austin Powers, and even still, our relationship, and the tradition, stuck. Making pizzas and watching a movie is our thing on Valentine’s Day. It reminds us of our giddy early dating days, and now that we have kids, it’s a fun way to share the holiday with them too.
Our other Valentine celebrations usually involve heart shape brownies like the ones I made him before our first date and randomly, somewhere down the line, we started the habit of going shoe shopping together- so that tradition stuck too. Our “gift” to each other each year is shoes. I even buy the kids shoes as a Valentine gift too. Call it crazy, I call it ours.
If I were to expect my husband to litter my walkway with roses, buy me lavish jewelry, or come up with a creative love poem, I’d be setting myself up for a lot of disappointment (you read the part about Austin Powers, right?). We aren’t a “champagne” couple- we’re a pizza one.
Forget what the jewelry commercials say, you can skip the flowers or the dinner reservations if it just isn’t you. Find something that celebrates you, your love, and make it yours.
Happy Valentine’s Day!