Wednesday, February 9, 2011

St Valentine's- Why & How

St Valentine's Day is almost upon us. We could argue legend versus history and the futility of buying  red roses (bred for their long stems they don't smell like roses much). I'll leave the debate to historians, theologians and Silver Lake hipsters too cool to celebrate anything that people can prepare for at Walmart. I'm a wife and a mom, so I'll explore the issue from those vantage points.

Celebrating the Day- Why

Years ago, I knew a lovely family- mom, dad, and about six children.  The day before Valentine's, we were talking and the dad said, "I never give my wife gifts or cards for Valentine's or Mother Day- I'm nice to her everyday." The wife looked crestfallen. So why celebrate St Valentine's Day? Whether we are single, dating, married- there are people in all our lives who we can remember on this day. The world is so sinful and hate-filled that we should take advantage of any opportunity. God is love, so let's celebrate St Valentine's Day as a way to show God's love to those around us. Don't let a loved one go without some memento of your love because you are taking a stand against commercialism.

 Celebrating the Day- How

So- I have convinced you to officially remember your loved ones this Valentine's Day. How will you go about it? First of all, ladies, we should remember our husbands on this day (see comic above- let's stop complaining about our husbands!). And moms, help your children have a good day. My mom would make us waffles with cherries (yum), so even if I didn't get many Valentines at school, I had a good day.
  • It IS the thought that counts. Yes, giving a coffee in bed while saying "Happy Valentine's Day" is a great way to start the holiday.
  • If you want to buy flowers, steer clear of  over-priced red roses. I used to work in the flower department of an upscale grocery store. Red roses cost double during Valentine week, and the quality wasn't that great. I say- go for potted tulips on your husband's desk and a mixed bouquet for mom and wife; you could go over-the-top romantic and buy a few bulbs to plant in the yard. Then 'your love will grow'- cheesy, yes. The world needs more cheese.
  • I temporarily lost some Christmastime coffee shop gift cards for my kids' ballet teachers and the like. I thought Valentine's Day would be a fun time to give the cards to them. Most people don't expect something on the day- except from their husband or wife- so it will be fun to surprise them.
  • A friend goes to a nursing home regularly with her kids. What a wonderful time to visit- along with handmade Valentines for the residents. Everybody needs to feel loved. 
  • The internet is full of good ideas that won't break the bank- has some ideas and you can go to sortacrunchy to print free Valentine cards
  • We never go to a restaurant around Valentine's Day- babysitters are too expensive and it is just too much pressure. My big girls for the past few years have set up dinner for us on the balcony. Isn't that sweet? So, the kids might be downstairs watching a video, and we will eat dinner provided by the girls and the microwave. Just about perfect, in my opinion.
  • Quality counts, too. Don't buy a big box of waxy fake chocolate (unless that is what your loved one likes)- a few pieces of the good stuff will be more appreciated. 
  • For boyfriends only: If you decide to get your girlfriend some jewelry, make sure it is wrapped in a big box. Many a girl has been disappointed when unwrapping beautiful earrings, thinking that an engagement ring was inside.
  • Once again- it is the thought that counts. Just do something. You can be elaborate one year and simple the next. Consider celebrating this day as a little rebellion against the cynicism of the world. 

this post needs more development, but my mouse is dead- 
I personally hate using the touch first-world problems...


  1. For years I dreaded this day and frankly was embarrassed by some of the things that I'd see in the stores to buy for your "loved" one. It seems more like a day for lust than love for the "grown up" crowd. But now that my children are getting a little older I've wanted to celebrate this day and have been rethinking ways to do that. These are some great suggestions! My husband is a pastor and giving Valentine's to our church shut-in members would be such a nice thing for my girls to do! Plus bringing some red and pink into our home is SO welcomed after all this dreary cold snow we've been enduring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Valentine's day!

  2. especially Aubri- I think you have the right idea- let's take back the holiday a bit from the 'lust and commercialism' crowd. Of course, we should love every day, but it is nice to have a day to focus- and yes- a little brightness during winter goes a long way.

    One thing I forgot to mention- especially for us ladies with busy husbands (ie priest/pastor wives)- it is very okay to celebrate any holiday during the 'octave' of the holiday. We might not have time on the actual day to celebrate with dinner or something else, so we celebrate on the day before or after. We try to give each other a break and tolerate all the balls in the air and try to make each other's life easier- not more stressful with crazy expectations. That being said- I do expect a 'Happy Valentine's Day' and SOMETHING and I always get it :) maybe this year, I will get a van tune-up (hint, hint)- I don't know if priest husband reads the comments....

  3. Loved these. Thanks. --Diane

  4. I was already going to comment and add a hearty Amen when I saw the bit about the mouse pad and had to laugh. I soooo identify! :) I hope you get batteries and a tune-up! Great advice!

  5. A girl after my own heart! I love practical gifts, but I also won't turn down some quality chocolate. I don't need him to make a big deal out of it, but he does need to acknowledge it. Good advice for the single guys with the jewelry!


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