Wednesday, February 16, 2011

St Valentine's = Thanksgiving

WHAT- you say? Has priest's wife gone around the bend??? St Valentine's Day is like Thanksgiving? Yup- here's how: Both holidays are not really holy days; they are basically secular days that industry uses to encourage us to buy things. Thanksgiving is a reminder to thank God for our blessings, and St Valentine's day is a day to focus on love.  
A big difference is this:
Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. Everyone sits down to a big dinner with as many family and friends that they are inclined to invite. In high school and college, I worked at a high-end grocery store. The day before Thanksgiving is the biggest moneymaker of the year. Families that would normally spend $100 on their groceries would spend at least double that amount. Carts would be filled with extra-special food and drink along with floral arrangements and liquor. No one would comment on 'big food' constructing a conspiracy of Thanksgiving. No one refused to celebrate Thanksgiving because 'if they aren't equally thankful to God every day, then they aren't thankful enough.'
But- look at St Valentine's Day...
Some people boycott the holiday and have anti-love webpages or groups. Husbands and wives refuse  to celebrate St Valentine's Day because 'if they show extra love on this day, they aren't treating her well the other days' or 'it is a conspiracy from Chinese communists that want us to buy cheap, tacky goods (then DO something kind and then say Happy Valentine's Day) or 'the day is really Saints Cyril and Methodius on the calendar.' 

I have been having an IRL exchange about the day on Facebook with a friend who, like me, didn't date at all until she met her husband and then got married happily ever after and had a bunch of kids. She seems to detest the day and the forced romanticism. They don't celebrate it at all. My Valentine's =Thanksgiving argument has not convinced her. Perhaps she remembers those times when the Valentine box was almost empty. She remembers during college when everyone seemed to be going off with a boyfriend and she was alone. Maybe she remembers that the only treat she got on the day was Mom's waffles and cherries (thanks, Mom!). My friend says that in her country, the holiday is only about consumerism. That is probably true about the States as well. But still....

But the Church is well-known for taking something not-so-perfect and sanctifying it (example: Christmas trees). So, in my not so humble opinion, I say that we take St Valentine's Day back and celebrate all the people in our lives that we love. If we feel like buying chocolate and flowers, fine- but the only 'requirement' is to show and spread love to friends and family.

2 comments:

  1. ...when I wrote "everyone" celebrates Thanksgiving- I meant the 99% of Americans who sit down to the traditional dinner- yes- I know that the poor have a much harder time...I don't mean to diminish their struggles

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  2. You know, this week I have read more blogs about how couples don't really celebrate it (just like DH & me)...and what was the thing we all had in common? We didn't date at all/much/etc before we met our spouses! Interesting.

    (I went on DATES, sure, but not too many and they never panned out until I met DH. DH dated a little more than me, but he regrets it, ha!)

    I do like the "spreading love" idea--to EVERYONE, not just focusing on romantic, coupled up love. Bake something for your neighbor, go visit an elderly family member who lives in a nursing home, etc. That's love, too.

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