I think you’d be hard pressed to find a holiday that is higher pressure than Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure why but, for whatever reason, how you spend the evening of February 14th seems to be a status maker to a lot of people. At the risk of inciting a riot, I’m going on the record and say that’s stupid. It’s your love, your Valentine and your Valentine’s day. So let’s stop thinking about how we should celebrate Valentine’s Day and start thinking about how we’d like to celebrate.
Who’s Your Valentine?
The first question to ask is, who’s your valentine? Who’s your main squeeze? You BAE (I think that’s what the kids are calling it these days)? Is it your husband? Your boyfriend? Your sister? Your mom? Your best friend? Maybe it’s your whole little family? Whoever it is, that’s going to significantly influence your Valentine’s Day plans. You need to consider if that person is a romantic interest or more a platonic love. Are they introverted or extraverted? Do they love to go out or prefer to stay in?
What’s the tone?
You know your Valentine, would they prefer something over the top hearts and roses or would they be more impressed by an activity less on the nose? If romance is in the air, does that mean a gourmet candlelight dinner or does that mean an evening of dancing? If it’s more togetherness and prioritizing the other person, would you rather do that just the two of you or as a group?
Think outside the box
Think about what really shows your love. If you’re familiar with the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you know that people give and receive love differently. Chapman offers a free quiz to discover yours and your Valentine’s but the five categories are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. Once you’ve identified your Valentine’s you can factor that into your plans. For example, if quality time is the most important, an extended activity free of interruptions with phones put away is going to really show them you care. If it’s physical touch, a couple’s massage might be a good start. If it’s Words of Affirmation, don’t skip the thoughtful inscription on your Valentine’s Day card. You get the idea. Don’t put a lot of effort into an aspect of Valentine’s Day that the other won’t fully appreciate. If gifts ranks lowest as your Valentine’s love languages, don’t spend hours agonizing over the perfect gift.
Pick a Day
Remember, Valentine’s Day is more of a season. Most people would prefer a thoughtful, personalized Valentine’s Day outing – even if it can’t be on Valentine’s Day – over the traditional Valentine’s Day dinner out just because that’s all you can squeeze in on the day of. If you choose to make arrangements on a day other than Valentine’s Day, make sure you communicate that to your Valentine in advance (especially if it’s occurring after Valentine’s Day). There’s nothing worse than feeling forgotten or underappreciated on the day. If you want to keep plans a surprise, you can still let them know the timeline without totally blowing it.
Make it Happen
So, what does all this planning look like in real life? Here’s what we’re doing for Valentine’s Day. As I’ve mentioned, my husband isn’t a Valentine’s person so we have always kept it pretty low key. Now that we have our two kiddos, we’d both rather do something memorable as a family rather than a fancy night on the town. Our Valentine tradition is getting a deep dish, meat lover’s pizza we never let ourselves get the rest of the year. We use paper plates and napkins so no one has to do the dishes. We turn the lights down low, light some fancy candles and turn on the Michael Bublé. Because he’s a quality time person, we’ll minimize distractions by putting the phones away and just enjoy our little family. There’s a good chance we’ll round dinner out with a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake because that’s one of my favorites. I know, some of you have your mouths hanging open. How could that be Valentine’s Day? How is that different than any Friday night? The answer is that it just is. I can’t explain why but it’s perfect for us and it is special. We’ll all feel loved and no one will feel like Valentine’s Day passed them by. This kids will love the novelty of it, I’ll love the not having to clean up and Chris will love the understated nature of it.
What about you? What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Has this blog caused you to rethink any of your plans or ideas? Let me know in the comments below!
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