Tomorrow is February 14: Valentine’s Day (or as I like to call it, the Hallmark Holiday). As someone who is in a relationship, a common question I get asked around this time is, “What are you planning for Valentine’s Day?” And, to this day, many people are surprised when I say that I don’t ever go out to do anything for it. My reason is simple: I don’t need a special date night to be dictated to me. I don’t want to get dressed up to go out just because I’m told that I’m supposed to.
I have nothing against this holiday. In fact, I think it’s wonderful to have a day to celebrate love. But it doesn’t feel like the day is about love anymore. It feels more spending money on flowers, expensive gifts, and an overpriced dinner in a loud and busy restaurant. Commercialism has controlled this holiday for as long as I can remember. And when a holiday of love is no longer about love, then why do we bother?
As much as I don’t care for/want a Valentine’s gift, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to celebrate the love that I have in my life. The celebration of love is one of my favour things to do, I just prefer to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. Those are the events where I feel the need/want to get dressed up to celebrate. But February 14 is different for me.
On the 14th I prefer to take my spice up my regularly scheduled evening. Here are four things I do to make a stay-at-home celebration special:
1) Make comfort food
Nothing says an amazing night in than enjoying your favourite foods. Find a meal that you and your partner (or friend) both enjoy. This year I think we are going to do a breakfast-for-dinner type meal since we both love but are never awake in time for it.
2) Candle lit dinner
Although it’s a stay-at-home celebration of love, nothing says romance like a candle lit dinner. This year my boyfriend and I are going to set up our “hideaway” dining room table and enjoy our dinner with the lights dimmed and the candles blazing.
3) Watch a movie you both enjoy
Finding a movie that you both enjoy is important. Today isn’t about forcing your partner to watch a sappy romance movie. Find something that you both love to watch. For us, we are in the middle of binge-watching the Marvel cinematic universe, so Valentine’s Day will be no exception.
4) Laugh as much as you can
My favourite thing about being in love is the joy you get from sitting down with your partner and laughing together. Leave all the seriousness behind (and deal with it tomorrow). Today is about feeling joyous and laughing until your belly hurts. You can’t deal that when you’re distracted by other things. Leave all your problems behind and focus on your partner.
Discussion Question: How do you like to spend your Valentine's Day?