Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day- proclaimed by Hallmark, Hershey’s and Kay Jewelers as the holiday for lovers. While I agree it is thoughtful to give a gift to someone you love, why do we need to feel guilty if we don’t show up with a gift on cue? I am happier when my husband spontaneously shows up with a bouquet of carnations, or brings back a pair of earrings for me after a business trip. No one likes to feel compelled to do things, especially not something as personal as expressing our affection.

When my children were younger, they were “encouraged” to participate in a valentine exchange at school. They were given a list of classmates and, even though the teachers said cards could be homemade, my children had neither the time nor the interest to make 25 individual cards. Thus, I ended up buying a big pack of cards at CVS, often with candy to attach to them. Fortunately I was not on a tight budget; but what if I had been? My children would have been embarrassed to not participate or, worse, be forced to make their own valentines.

Once they reached middle school the practice became voluntary. My daughter gave cards and gifts to her close friends for another year and then stopped altogether. I think she saw the marketing strategy behind it and decided to no longer play that game (btw- I never discouraged her from continuing, regardless of what my personal thoughts were).

My husband and I have a mutual agreement to not exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. I think that if you are happily married, there are 364 other days of the year to express your affection for each other. The most we will do on Valentine’s Day is to have a special dessert as a family. Making some chocolate-dipped strawberries while sitting around our fondue pot will give us some “sweet” family time, an excuse to enjoy each other’s company and actually converse.

For anyone reading this who is still in the dating phase of a relationship, or has a partner with high expectations on Valentine’s Day, my heart goes out to you. Good luck. I hope your efforts are appreciated.


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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 11:18:19

    Tonight our Valentine’s Day will involve a group of Cub Scouts building something in our basement while my daughter and I find somewhere else to go. Romantic for all involved, huh?



  2. Carol
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 11:50:55

    So many of our “holidays” are designed for retail and for children. When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was fun – a bit of a party at school time. May Day was the same kind of thing. As an adult, not so much. Hard enough for husband to remember Christmas and birthday.



  3. Trackback: Valentine’s Day 2012 « memoirs of an angel

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