There are a few things I don’t understand about Valentine’s Day:
Why does there have to be a gift?
Why is the gift-giving more expected of the man?
Why is a brand new gift valued more highly than a used one?
And why is Valentine's just... a Day? Shouldn't we express our love all year?
I love my husband more than anything else in the world — but I don’t need somebody to tell me that Valentine’s day is the one day to celebrate it.
And I especially don't like the idea that I'm required to buy my sweetie something to prove that I love him. A day that is intended to celebrate romantic love has become yet another a day of commerce — it's never sat right with me, so my husband and I never buy each other anything on Valentine's day (nor celebrate it).
But I don’t like complaining either. I like solutions!
So here are my 5 ideas for things you can do on Valentine’s Day to celebrate your love and make it last all year.
5 Ideas for a Commercial-Free Valentines Day:
1. A heartfelt, old-fashioned love letter. On paper. Express your love in so many words.
2. A home-cooked meal. Candles. A nice bottle of wine. Music.
3. A home-made experience like a personal massage. A fort with candles inside? Or more radical, no criticism for one day :-).
4. Take over your honey’s dreaded chores for a day (e.g. clean the house, take out the garbage, walk the dog, wash the cat, pay the bills online).
5. Create your sweetie’s perfect day around their hobbies: go for a bike ride, binge-watch their favorite TV show (or even sports), lounge around the house doing nothing.
6. Extra Bonus Idea: Help your loved one declutter things they don’t need by posting their stuff on Yerdle. This is what I did recently: check out all these books my husband parted with for me to share on Yerdle! His home office has never looked better, and he's grateful to have more space. Win-win! :)
Does love require material gifts?
Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s easy for me to love. It’s about being grateful, getting together with people you love and - best of all - food.
No gifts, no pressure, pure pleasure.
Christmas on the other hand has spiraled out of control with the shopping season starting earlier every year. Maybe soon there will be Christmas promotions all year round? But I am getting a bit off track here. Back to Valentine’s Day.
Let me take a step back.
For me, Valentine’s Day reflects greater issues in society:
I, for one, would much rather be paid equal wages than to have a man hold a door open for me. I can open my own door. Give me equal opportunity in everyday life and I will feel respected. I don’t need a token gesture that makes me the weaker sex.
You don’t have to agree with me.
In the same vein, it appears that males still have to make restaurant reservations, pay for dinner and buy gifts like jewelry for the partners for Valentine’s Day. Maybe the Millennials have more equal relationships (I hope so), but in Generation X, that’s what I see.
There are many many ways to show love….
My husband and I try to show each other love every single day of our lives, with small or big acts of love.
Last weekend, for example, Allan spent hours cleaning out his book shelf so I could Yerdle his stuff. Now that’s love.