If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, since social media took root, it’s that people aren’t terribly fussed about Valentine’s Day. I know without a doubt that there will be a number of “forget you, Valentine’s Day” posts along with cheery, inclusive messages to everyone on Valentine’s Day. Since I didn’t get married until I was well into my 30s, I’ve had a lot of time to think about Valentine’s Day and what it means to the rest of us. IE those of us who aren’t showered with flowers, chocolates, diamonds and other goodies. Could this be 98% of us? Even as a married woman, I don’t get any of the items that I’m told, via advertisements, that I could be receiving. What I do know is that Goop’s latest tips RE Valentine’s Day jewellery options made me think that we really need to rethink this themed day.
During a quick visit to Yaletown today, I found myself in the middle of Valentine’s Day land. I walked the Valentine’s half pipe filled with flowers, decorations, cards and chocolate, as I headed towards the exit door of a bespoke grocery store. Clearly Valentine’s Day is an important business opportunity for retailers. As soon as Christmas day was officially over, the Valentine’s Day decorations were set out in our local Superstore. I can’t criticize the timing as the Valentine’s Day decor went up at our house as soon as the Christmas decorations came down. Pops of pink and red make for a cheerful transition when you’d rather not say goodbye to the cheerful splashes of red that Christmas brings.
For many of the years I spent as a single person, I celebrated Valentine’s Day alone. Even when I was dating someone, I invariably got short changed as my birthday, like Jennifer Aniston’s, falls in the month of love. I must have been keen to associate myself with this holiday as I arrived two weeks early. This ensured that my birthday would not only get caught up in the Valentine’s Day focus but I could also be a creative Aquarian (if you believe in that kind of thing).
While working as a primary school teacher, I enjoyed many moments celebrating Valentine’s Day with young children. In my last teaching position, every year I asked parents to make Valentine’s cards for their children. This was the tradition in the department within an International school where I was working. Each card that the parents made was unique and oh so gorgeous. Valentine’s Day was a highlight for me as I enjoyed watching the looks of love and appreciation on the children’s faces as they were presented with their cards. At the same time I also enjoyed stocking the classroom with beautiful papers and art supplies so that the children could make cards for their loved ones. Now that my children are in preschool, we’re busy making home made owl themed cards and cookies to take to school. The cards have been a great opportunity for my preschoolers to hone their cutting skills. Every circle and piece of paper in the card was cut by them and then glued together.
During my childhood years I loved the deep reds and classic illustrations featured in cards of the day – inspired by early to mid 20th century cards. In later years, since Valentine’s Day is close to my birthday, I took the opportunity to spoil myself buying books, international magazines, lingerie and CDs. I also made deluxe breakfasts-in-bed for myself which included some specialty food items such as imported jams or yummy baked goods. The person who has always spoiled me the most on Valentine’s Day is me.
These days I don’t receive lingerie and other fancy items on February 14th. Our typical-for-BC tight budget doesn’t need such additions. I’m most happy to hang out with my family, enjoy a meal together and settle into an evening watching a good quality drama with my husband. We can all claim Valentine’s Day for ourselves, whether or not we are in a relationship or receiving cards, gifts and presents from others.
Each of us has people in our lives who care for us and love us. In this way we are fortunate and blessed. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that has evolved and in reality it can celebrate all aspects of love.
How about you? What is your favourite part of Valentine’s Day? How do you celebrate on your own or with others? You can comment about this posting using the comment function below or on the BCFamily.ca Facebook page. Your contribution matters so don’t be shy!
Peaking out of a bag, our owl cards (shown above), including chocolate attached at the back, are waiting to be passed out. You can find the instructions at kidsactivitiesblog.com. They’ve used one sided wrapping paper/origami paper. In hindsight this might have made for a more eye popping result but my children enjoyed decorating the paper before it was folded.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day With Kids (VancouverMom.ca)
HumDrum With Valentines (CrunchyCarpets.com)
What Are You Learning About Love From Your Kids? (MomParadigm.com)