Valentine’s Day. For what it’s worth, I’ve never been a fan. As I’ve described in previous posts, it’s an over-commercialized holiday that demeans romance, not exalts it. There’s nothing more romantic than a grocery store teddy bear and a dozen roses with baby’s breath, right? No? How about eating in a crowded over-priced restaurant alongside everyone else in town?
It’s even better when you’re single, of course. Happy Single’s Awareness Day, anyone? Gahhh.
For those who have kids, Valentine’s Day takes on a different meaning. Suddenly Valentine’s Day cards are being made and bought and glitter and glue are everywhere. Valentine’s candy is being passed out. Pictures are being taken. Nothing wrong with that, but . . .
But what is Valentine’s Day really? Is it worth getting worked up over? If you look at its history, Valentine’s Day origin is really pretty ugly. It started as a ancient holiday called “Lupercalia,” which was essentially a Roman fertility festival. It was only later that the holiday was adopted by the Christian church in an attempt to convert pagans, and much later that it developed into the over-commercialized guilt-tripping holiday we know today. Historians don’t even know who the real St. Valentine was. Really?
In this short video (click on the link below), History.com says Americans spend more than $20 billion on Valentine’s Day annually. More cards are sent than on any other holiday except Christmas. 220 million roses are produced for the holiday . . .
Wow. Just wow.
And maybe that’s why Jon and I are just keeping things low-key today. He’s not working; we’re together. What more do we need? If you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day, go ahead. But if it were me, I wouldn’t buy into the commercialization, and I wouldn’t stress over it you’re single. After all, as Jon reminded me yesterday (about something else), things only have power over us if we let them.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!
I second that, Jessica.
Glad to know I’m not alone. Hope you had a great, non-commercial day, Bruce!
Agreed. I’ve never been concerned about the day whether I was single or not. My gift to my partner today was going to the bakery to get him bread for his breakfast when neither of us felt like going out. Anyways, Happy Valentine’s day regardless!
Yup. Glad to know others think similarly. I wrote Jon a note and we mostly hung out. That was very sweet of you to get your boyfriend bread! Happy Valentine’s to you, too. :)
I’m with you on this.
I have this really odd idea … love the ones who matter to you 365 days a year. It doesn’t take much, a few simple words every day, a small gesture here and there, and then every once in awhile (meaning more often than the anniversary and Valentine’s Day) do something that is deep and meaningful. But, flowers and candy on the “special days” are meaningless unless there’s something real that fills in between the gaps.
I absolutely agree. There’s too much pressure on one day, when it should really be about the love we show year-round. I mentioned something along those lines in my post about Valentine’s Day last year.
Hope you had a great, non-commercial, spontaneous day, friend!
i totally agree with you; i’m not against the idea of people showing their affections to one another through acts of service or gift giving (which are good things) but the event is totally overhyped, commercialized, and marketed.. like when they start displaying valentine’s candy at the end of december!
I almost mentioned that in this post, Sophia! It got editing out, but I started seeing Valentine’s cards in the stores before New Years. Really?!
I watched a news item where they interviewed Joe Public regarding this, and one chap told the interviewer that Valentine’s Day was a good thing as it was cheaper to get the flowers,chocs, and card on one day of the year than all year round! He did have a twinkle in his eye though :)
Haha, that’s one way to look at it, I suppose. I’m just a less traditional girl, I guess, and would prefer a slightly more original token of love to roses and chocolates any day of the year.
Hope you had a great day!
We went down to Austin for the day, and spent it eating in a couple of our favorite hole-in-the-wall joints and hitting ethnic groceries all over the city. Even better, I forgot to give Tammy the card I got her, and she didn’t care. Which is the best Valentine’s gift a wife can ever give… :0)
Awesome. That sounds like a great Valentine’s Day!!
Yep. The history, as you pointed out, was indeed a festival in the most “releasing or risque” Roman way, depending on your individual world-view today. LOL And now it is massively commercialized because that’s what America is all about! Enter The O’Jays song, Money, money, money! here. :-P
For me, I express love more than once a year, in many many more ways than money and traditional gifts and much less than monotarily…and I don’t need the U.S. government to push me when and how to do it.
Happy Valentine’s weekend Jess and Jon!!!
I knew you’d understand, Professor. ;) Hope you’re having a great weekend, too!
Wow. I had no idea Valentines Day was originally a Roman fertility festival. I guess it makes sense. I absolutely LOVE (no pun intended) learning about things like that.
I agree about the commercialization and money spent. My husband and I just spent time together, and that was the most important part. Well, we got a little extra chocolate from Trader Joe’s, too :P
Trader Joe’s chocolate sounds good to me!! Glad you had a good day. :)
Thanks again for the award, too! You are so so sweet.
Couldn’t agree more Jess. I did you one better and wrote a very special piece for my love on Friday the 13th, as a protest to the “holiday” while still doing something very meaningful for my truest. Take a look at “Lion Tamer” if you get a chance. Hope all is well. I have officially started riding and running again and hope to be in decent shape soon. Legs sore from my first actual run of any distance yesterday. UUgghhhhh long way to go. Keep smiling and inspiring friend.
I know the feeling. Every time I do a long run I get super sore. I have a loooong way to go, too. Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day. Protests and celebrating love on the 13th both sound like good ideas to me!
I am still struggling with this post –
PS…shit am I even allowed to say “love”
Struggling? You, Hoss? If anyone loves going against the grain, it’s you. That’s why we get along so well. ;)
I had a bit of a guilty giggle reading this! This year I milked Valentines day for all it was! I’m guilty of glitter and kg’s of Toblerone chocolates! My husband even managed to find a bunch of red roses…which is a big plus in Malawi. Unfortunately they died the very next day, but I was chuffed as pie to have them survive just one hot summers night! It’s a real novelty to be given flowers here. We booked a hotel too – family and all. But our family Valentines dinner unfortunately didn’t go as planned because when we ordered the ‘piri piri chicken,’ we didn’t realise the chicken hadn’t been slaughtered yet! It was a bit off-putting when heard it’s last desperate clucks before being barbecued! And not to forget the Valentines card my 5 year old daughter made for her father. On the outside of the card it read,’I love you Daddy.’ On the inside, it read ‘Please buy me a TV for my bedroom!’ So while Valentines day is ridiculously cheesy and commercial, it was the day we made some good memories and had a real laugh! But then again, in these parts Valentines day is only celebrated by a few and has not reached the height of commercialism here as I’m sure it has in the states! I think if I was there, I’d be feeling the same way as you do about the V day!
Hi Lianne!! Sorry it took me so long to respond! I got to neglecting my blog again… Yes, I am certain Valentine’s Day isn’t as commercialized there as it is here. Here, it is ridiculous. You’re right that there’s nothing wrong with setting aside a day to celebrate love, and it’s always nice to have an excuse to buy chocolate! I just hate how over-the-top and forced it often feels here. But I guess you picked that up from my post. ;)
But I can assure you that if I still lived in South Africa or somewhere that it was taken super ‘seriously,’ I think I’d be in your boat!
… or if you are going to buy in, wait until the day after when it is all half-price!
You got it!! Sorry for my late response. Thanks for reading and commenting!!
I’m not sure if you accept awards, but I wanted to nominate you :)
Aww, you are so sweet. I have tried a few times to finish an awards post and never been successful. But I really appreciate it, anyway!!
I have had the same issue! I’ve decided I would rather pass them along without any requirements :)