Happy Valentine's...wait, what?
Valentine's Day. It has arrived and will arrive every year according to Hallmark cards. Sound cynical? Let me explain.
I grew up with Mum who 'celebrated' every holiday with child-like joy, and still does. She decorates for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and Valentine's Day. Each of these 'holidays' she still puts together little packages for my brother and I (and we are 48 and 50 years old respectively!), and it was honestly one of the things I absolutely adored about her when I was young...and still do. It shows she cares enough to make these 'holidays' special for us, and I truly appreciate that. And, having no children ourselves, it keeps us feeling the love of a parent when there may be no one else around.
As an adult, for most of my adult life, I did the same. Especially when it came to making little treat bags for all of my friends and family for the 'big 3', Halloween, Easter and Valentine's Day. Chocolate's, Candies and Cards. The critical 3 C's for any holiday, let's face it. But the last few years I have had a change of tune...for Valentine's Day. I recently had a discussion with some of my lady friends around this day, to which they all thought I was either crazy or a stick in the mud for announcing "It's a consumerism driven day by Hallmark cards!". Ba Humbug. The reason for my changed beliefs around this holiday have to do with the romantic reasons for it's coming to life, especially after having experienced so many Valentine's Day's where I felt like I was just another person receiving a cookie-cut-out-gift that my partner was supposed to purchase. Now, let me preface it by saying, I am still a big believer in showering your children with cinnamon hearts and those you love too, but what puts a bee in my bonnet are two things. Let me think...yes, just two :)
The first reason being, if a loved one does nothing all year round to show affection i.e.: bring home flowers, pack a picnic, make dinner plans, buy a card for no reason, then how special is it exactly when they show up with enough to make up for the last year, and quite frankly, are 'pressured' into buying something because everyone else is?? Christmas is very similar..don't get me started. In my humble opinion, if you show someone you love them (and we are talking lovers here) year round by random acts of kindness, gifts, cards, dinners, jewelry...you get the idea... Valentine's Day is exactly what it is...a consumer driven day that takes advantage of the guilt you will have should you not purchase the triple priced roses, chocolates and restaurant prices. Call me crazy, but ya can't deny it!
The second thing that drives me crazy is, the cost! I'm not cheap, some would say I even have a habit of being generous to a fault, gifts, trips, you name it, I've given it! (something I am working on in 2020 so don't be expecting anything other then a hand made card y'all!) If this wasn't about consumerism and everyone trying to make a buck off of that guilt in the aforementioned paragraph, then why would they double and even triple the prices of almost everything? Why would jewelry all of a sudden be on 'sale' and advertisements are plastered everywhere, showing you how much you will be loved if you purchase XYZ for your lover? I rest my case. Consumer driven guilt buying, and we are all falling victim to it. If you really want to treat your special someone and make up for your lack on the 364 other days of the year, wait a week....you can get the flowers, chocolates and that necklace for the price of one the week before...no joke lol
Now before you leave thinking you aren't going to do anything for your lover and risk getting their knickers in a knot (because they are expecting it, aren't they?), think about how you can express your affection towards them with something that is meaningful, sincere and heartfelt. If you are one of the amazing people who expresses their love year round, then perhaps a quiet evening walking hand in hand with hot chocolate, ending in front of the fireplace and talking about all of the amazing memories you have both had together is a more romantic and memorable way to express your love then dinner in an over priced, over crowded restaurant? If you are one of the people who gaps out on expressing your love for your partner year round (tsk tsk btw), then a lovely gesture would be something you have never done, like make a romantic dinner or picnic, take a drive to a romantic lookout and give them a hand written note or card expressing how you feel about them but find it hard to express in daily life. Now this would make a girl or guy cry.
Look, I'm not against celebrating your love for each other, but when it's driven by materialism, consumerism and guilt, it's not special at all. What makes it special is heart felt actions, things that money cannot buy. And what makes Valentine's even more special is when you get that card or unexpected bouquet of flowers on February 5th...a random day, for no reason, no pressure or society built in guilt day, but for pure love. Now that is Valentine's Day.
Now, who's whisking me away on a romantic trip on February 20th? ;) JOKING!! ...maybe ;)
Happy non-commercialized, non-consumerized, no-guilt Valentine's Day to everyone who has no partner to say I love you too. Remember this, YOU are your own Valentine, and you are who you should be treating with love, care and attention. Grab your running shoes and get out into Nature, you will soon realize that all the love in the world is waiting there for you...not in a box of chocolates, diamond necklace or an over priced fancy restaurant. XO
~ Monika xo