Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Defense of Valentine's Day

I caught the star packed movie Valentine's Day on HBO last night and it got me thinking about... well, Valentine's day! I'm a big fan of holidays and a huge fan of celebrating them. All of them. Because life is short and (almost) any reason to celebrate is a good one, even if it's not the most logical reason. To me, love is without a doubt the best reason to celebrate. Not just love between a couple, but also between family members and friends.

Let me start off by saying I KNOW how many people despise this holiday. My single friends hate it and my married friends dread it! So let me be the devil's advocate here. It's not valentine's day that is the problem, it's how we celebrate it. The yuppie culture of greed and envy has ruined many holidays, including this one. People have to put so much time and effort into buying the perfect gift or else be faced with "You got me a heart shaped Candy????? Kate's husband got her the latest Coach purse AND took her to a really nice restaurant! *tears*" or "Gran Turismo 5! Yes! This must mean you enjoy it when I play video games 5 hours a day!". Just like that, Valentine's day is ruined. Don't panic. Here's how to have a good Valentine's day.

Take out the money factor. If it has to be bought, it isn't love.

For couples:

Talk about it and see if you both agree that time is more important than money. Instead of buying gifts, spend the day together. Just the two of you (or, you and the kids, that can be equally/more romantic). My husband and I have been doing this for 9 years and it works great. Give the gifts money can't buy.
  • Groom each other -- Mammals groom each other all the time, somehow people think the manicurist is the right person to go to for grooming, but being groomed by a loved one is so much better. Brush her hair, rub his back, give her a bath, help him stretch, watch animal planet and learn!
  • Cook together -- Everyone loves food. Cook your favorite meals/snacks together, then put a big blanket in the middle of the living room and eat your food as a picnic.
  • Dance together -- light a couple of candles and turn off all the lights so there is very little light in the room. Put on some music and dance inside the house.
  • Cuddle in front of the TV together -- Self explanatory.

For my single friends:
  • Ignore it. Do what you do on St. Patrick's day if you're not Irish. If people ask what you're doing for Valentine's day, tell them you're not Irish!
  • Celebrate it. I'm not Irish but I always celebrate St. patty's day with a Smithwick's beer! Why not? So go grab yourself a couple of candles, some red wine, have a nice bath and then groom yourself. Or get a glass of wine and chocolate truffles and share it with someone else who isn't in a relationship. Call everyone you love and wish them a happy Valentine's day!
What are your good Non-commercial ideas for Valentine's day??


  1. I'm single and I would feel weird about calling a friend to share some wine and chocolate with on Valentine's Day... but I guess I wouldn't feel weird if someone else calls me...

  2. Last year my boyfriend gave me an ipod shuffle full of awesome music. Best. Gift. Ever.

    Tina S.

  3. I want to know what guys want to do for V day. We did a scrapbook once but I'm pretty sure he hated every minute of it!


  4. Tina - Music is an excellent idea also (even without having to buy the shuffle).

    Kim - Good question. Maybe we'll get some feedback from our gentlemen readers.

  5. Great post, and great comments! I'm Mr. B, and have to say I thoroughly enjoy our Valentine's days. Talk about it early and your guy will be grateful to not have to come up with a creative idea on his own or struggle to find the perfect gift. The brainstorming on fun things you both enjoy can be a fun way to split a bottle of wine on it's own, and that's just to get ready for the day.

    My most memorable was the year we got a kit and built a programmable robot (yeah, we're both kind of geeks). The important thing is to have fun and remind yourselves why you choose to spend your time together.

  6. Oh I had forgotten about the robot! Whatever happened to it anyway? It was the best at freaking out the cat... I wonder if it would still freak her out!

  7. The best gift is doing something special together. I would rather spend time with my loved one than receive a present. That said, I have been accused of showering my girlfriends with too many presents... The most important thing is that it is personal and that it shows that you care and have figured out what kind of things your special someone enjoys. If they mentioned something they wanted to try or made a comment about something that they enjoy, remember it and that is the perfect starting point for a nice present. I really do believe that you should be loving and caring every day of the year and not just for a holiday!

  8. As Kim requested, I was going to do a post on the gentleman's take on Valentine's day but a couple of guys have already replied so I won't be redundant. It appears that guys want the same thing women want (surprise, surprise!), which is just to spend time together and do something fun. It just depends on the two of you what your definition of "something fun" is! Good luck everyone!