Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentine's Day...Did You or Didn't You?

Another Valentine's Day has been and gone and I've seen the arguments for and against this celebration posted across the internet.

Personally I am all for any excuse for a celebration...Chinese New Year, Burn's Night, Winter Solstice or St George's Day are all on our calendar for celebrating, Valentine's Day is no different.  We use the day in question as a theme to make an ordinary day a little bit more special.  They influence what we do, what we eat and give us a focus for craft activities or days out.  It's a fun way to punctuate the year.

Valentine's Day is one of the more contentious days of the year.  On one hand, couples can feel pressured into spending extortionate amounts of cash on overpriced bouquets, meals out charged at premium rates in fancy restaurants or fancy (and pointless) novelty items.  But on the other hand, it feels like a kick in the teeth for all singletons, or a reminder that partners might be totally unromantic, causing one to question the whole basis of their relationship.  Some men think that if they order a dozen red roses for February 14th, then it justifies them doing nothing sentimental for the remaining 364 days of the year.  To some, ordering flowers is almost a reflex action with no deep emotion attached to it, making it no more than a meaningless gesture.  Only the florists truly come out on top!

A Valentine's Bouquet
For me, however, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to make home made cards festooned with hearts and filled with hand written poetry.  The children join in and get creative with 'love' being the focus of their activity.  We don't often have flowers in the house, but again, it's an excuse to do so.  We don't spend a fortune, Ian chooses a bunch from the supermarket that he likes the look of and delivers them to me in person after work on the 13th. They brighten up our house and set the scene for the day ahead.  Together with the kids we bake cakes and prepare our favourite family meal with added Valentine's embellishments, just for fun.  We dress up and the kids drink pop from a wine glass.  It is just a lovely celebration of the love we share all year round.
Ian is a soppy soul and tells me he loves me numerous times everyday.  He is demonstrative and loving and extremely thoughtful so nothing changes on Valentine's Day.  There is no fake display of affection, so I know that everything he does is 100% genuine.  We don't need a commercially based celebration to tell us how to behave for one day a year, but we enjoy the prompt to ham it up a bit!

Valentine's Goodies
February 14th is just another day, and no-one should feel pressured or disappointed because of it.  (We've only just got over the stress of Christmas, we don't need to put ourselves under any more pressure!)  But, whether you are single, in a new relationship or parent of little ones, I believe it makes a nice opportunity for a bit of fun in the middle of the miserable, grey months of winter.  Don't let Hallmark or Interflora or Goldsmiths tell you how to celebrate, do it your way!

I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday however you celebrated  and whoever you celebrated with!

Valentine's Giggles


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