Well, it’s Valentine’s Day everyone – the time of year where society tells men that they should shower their significant others with chocolates, flowers, and other superficial gestures in the hopes that they can build up enough good will to carry them through a year’s worth of doghouse-worthy escapades. Florists put in 12 hour days, restaurants are booked solid, and Hallmark employees are on the verge of going postal from seeing only red and pink for the past month.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not one of those bitter romance-haters that has given up on love. In fact, I’m quite the contrary – I’m about to celebrate 10 wonderful years of marriage, I regular get misty-eyed in sappy movies, and I can be highly motivated by dark chocolate. I just think all of the commercialism surrounding Valentine’s Day is silly at best, and misleading at worst.
The overall message is not inherently bad – “Love one another.” I could do far worse than to raise my son according to that biblical principle. The problem comes with how that message is delivered. Rather than promoting a lifestyle of kindness and caring to our family and friends, Valentine’s Day is advertised as a one-time, go for broke, special occasion that can serve as a “get out of jail free” card down the road.
Instead of investing an unrealistic amount of time, money, and effort in such a short-lived endeavor, why don’t we as a culture devote ourselves to showering affection on those we love all year long? To me it seems like smaller, daily doses of sweetness are far more authentic and romantic than over the top extravagance once a year (not to mention logistically easier and cheaper…).
So while I certainly won’t reject any Valentine’s Day opportunities that may get thrown my way, I don’t have any prerequisite standards that must be met “or else.” I plan to spend the day hanging out with my sweet littlest Valentine all day, and then rendezvous-ing with my grown-up Valentine at the climbing gym in the afternoon to enjoy one of our favorite family pasttimes.
What about everyone else? How is Valentine’s Day celebrated (or not celebrated) in your family?