Friday, February 15, 2013

So, Valentine's Day - a little rant

I've seen a couple of posts in my reader and I already told some of you I'm writing this one. A little rant, if you will :)

First of all, I honestly believe the world could do with all the love it could get.

So my view on life is to celebrate everything. Everything.

You and I both don't know how much time we have left.

My blog friend, Sarah, who was the first of all of us who were doing IVFs at the time to fall pregnant, lost her sister last week Friday to cancer.

Another blog friend had a due date of her fourth miscarriage yesterday.

At work I said to a colleage in a morning meeting, "so how's your Valentine's been so far?" and she said, "crap! I'm single and no hope of changing that in the near future" :)

I'm aware that everyone doesn't necessarily have a day worth celebrating. Celebrate the love you DO have anyway as my two blog friends do.

beautiful sunset on Valentine's Eve
At work I was the only one who "does" Valentine's.

I mean honestly, how bad will it be to wear a bit of red or pink? Or just to put a smile on your face?

I get the commercialisation of everything really. Not just Valentine's.

But by that token, are you going to boycott Life?

Easter, Christmas, everything?

Because of course the marketers are going to have a field day with all the "holidays" - that's their job and I don't begrudge them for doing it (very) well. I like to see people doing their thing :)

It's YOUR choice to decide whether to go all out or just a little bit, to spend a lot or a little. Or nothing at all.

People said to me, "well, we believe in celebrating love the whole year". Great - so do I.

We also celebrate love the whole year but if there's a day dedicated to love, you can bet I'm there!

So if I hear this comment in person, I say, "really, how do you do that?" because then I want to hear actual things you do, not some lovely hypothetical examples of it all.

I actually think most people bow out due to the huge money-making machine and don't realise that there are many degrees on the way to over the top.

Here's what we did:

  • Kids wore red and white to school (okay, the school sent us THREE notes to remind us. I had to remind myself that most parents are not organised and would welcome the reminders)
  • I wore a red jacket and D wore a shirt with some red stripes.
  • I did teachers' gifts. Big mistake mentioning this at work - you should have heard those people :) But I wanted them to know I'm glad they're doing this and not me. You need patience working with 15 3 year olds and I don't have it! 
  • I did little gifts for the kids.
  • D and I don't do big gifts but we do set aside time to spend together so I moved two coaching calls and we had a date night on the couch :) He also surprised me with a book full of NYC photos and a card (have I told you I think he should write cards? He writes JUST the right thing for the non-cheesy, of which I and most people are one)
sneak peek - I'll post lots of pics properly next week

I actually had a really nice Valentine's day.

What about you?

Do you do Valentine's? If yes, tell me about it.

If not, have I challenged your thinking in any way?


  1. Mr OL refuses to do Valentines Day - he pretty much refuses to do any of the days actually. Valentines, Mother's Day, Birthdays etc. I am trying to change his thinking but it is a very slow process.

    I am not big on Valentines and will not do the commercial side of things, eat out, flowers or store bought cards, but love doing little things. I put a heart biscuit with "I love you" written on it as a surprise in Little OL's lunch box (I hope somebody read it to her).

    1. I can imagine it's a slow process.

      AAAAHHH, the heart biscuit is darling :)

  2. Well, with this post you have already challenged my thinking regarding Valentines day. Maybe me and hubby should start celebrating it from next year.
    It's cool that you and D had a date night on the couch last night :)

    1. Then this post has been totally worth it!

      it's the cheapest date ever - no babysitting money to be paid!

  3. We usually spend a bit of time together and do something raally small We also made teachers gifts (And I forgot to photograph! - shock and horror!) but it was a bit crazy. The kids got a small choccie and woollies birdy which now proudly hang on their school bags. I also have little Woollies hearts with jelly beans and stamps to give them today - they all got sweets at school yeaterday so I did nto want to give more last night. Am about to do a post about their day.

  4. Oha nd we do Valentines at work - we got each staff member a Woollies praline filled heart and took the team to Mimmos for lunch.

  5. Those people irritate me and i think it's a copout. Do they *Really* celebrate love EVERYDAY? Come on, let's get realistic.

    It doesn't have to be a money making scam. I downloaded a whack of free printables and with them made Monster Valentine Cupcakes for the Schools Special Valentine Assembly, put together gorgeous gift bags for my girls and hubby, and made hubby a card. I did spend a little bit of money on heart shaped sweeties & choccies and a heart appropriate gift for everyone - and i love doing it. I'll never stop!

  6. I really hate when people talk about how commercialized everything is, using it - as you said - as an excuse to bow out of holidays.

    Yes, things are commercialized...but YOU don't have to fall to that!

    We had an awesome day. :) :) I just LOVE this excited the girls get over any little thing! They were GIDDY that I made an early breakfast so we could all eat together...on a week day!!!

    In the little felt "baskets" I made last year, the girls each got a new pair of undies (pink and red) and a new pair of socks (with hearts). They each got a little board book, something lovey-dovey. They were stoked. They had to put on their undies right away (HA!), and we read those books 10 times yesterday.

    They had a blast making valentines for their friends at school, and to send to our family and friends.

    I hope I can always capture this doesn't take much to make the day a little bit special...and that's what it's all about. :) :)

    By the way, I did a tiny little teacher gift, too...the cutest (if I do say so!) handmade bookmarks.

  7. I was recovering so things were small this year. I don't really get into the commercialism but I am all about the food! Last night we had butter tender filet! Nothing says I love you more than dead cow! LOL!

    And just to play devil's advocate, what's the difference between valentines and Halloween for you? >:)

    1. ooh yes, the food!

      I knew someone would ask (I laughed when I saw the question, Mandy).

      In my mind it's clear - Valentine's is about celebrating love, Halloween is about celebrating the dark side of life......and of course, it just doesn't sit right with me!

  8. Lesley5:56 pm

    The day before second daughter made chocolate orange cupcakes and the kids and I made icing flowers to go on top of the butter icing.
    The night before, i wrote out 3 little cards for the children and put them on each childs door telling them i loved them and saying i was proud of them for something they are doing lately.
    Then on the day we had a beautiful meal altogether, we have been doing this for a few years now - and we love it! Made a special dessert and had candles : )
    Got some lovely flowers too : )

  9. I guess compared to others I probably went over the top a bit . . . I made a post about what I did with my twin girls if you are interested to read it (

    My girls' preschool had a little party for them and I dressed them up for that too. They had to pass out Valentine's and MANY parents went all out - giving out bags of candy, gummies, popcorn, and even a strawberry plant along with the Valentine! I was the bad mom who only did a Valentine with a sticker (I think the girls are way too young to have that much sugar and junk at the age of 2.5). I got their teachers a box of chocolates but worried it wasn't enough . . . some people just go all out and it is hard to gauge what is appropriate and what isn't.

    Oh well. We had a blast though and I think my girls had a great day! To each their own I say! :)

  10. We do V-Day! I don’t spend money on flowers or anything expensive though. None of the commercial stuff. Both kids had to wear red and white to school. There were handmade cards. Child2 came home with heart-shaped biscuits that HE made at school! I cried when he gave them to me. They were sooooo beautiful and I just LOVED them! The icing was not 100% strategically placed but it just ADDED to the charm and to me it was PURE PERFECTION. Sheila told me this morning how he battled with that icing and how he wanted to give up and how she had to encourage him to go on. It just warmed my heart some more.

    I handed out some funky vouchers that I had printed for them on card stock. The entire exercise cost me R10. If I’d had my act together then I might have done something for the teachers as well - I've just had the craziest week ever! Oh well, there's always Easter so I need to start planning something cute for them.

    There was a dinner cooked by my Boyfriend and Child1 and I allowed them to eat in my room. On my bed! Afterwards we all had a bit of a snuggle and read books. Lance and I didn't go out yet but that’s only because we are going away this weekend.

    We always do something in the office. Usually scones with jam and cream. This year we went BIGGER and it was so much fun! We had a seriously decadent breakfast and of course we all wore red and white. We even cut out hearts and everything! I think it's all about celebrating love in ALL forms and just having a bit of fun with it. Commercialism is everywhere and only YOU can choose how you will respond to it.

  11. We don't go full out. I wore a lovely red dress and drove through with DH to St Francis where he spent the day golfing and I spent the day with a dear friend and had a lovely valentines lunch with her.

  12. Seems like you're getting a lot of lip at work these days about one thing or another. First your one colleague accused you of being cheap and now they accuse you of supporting a money making machine in the form of commercial valentine's? Ba-humbug to all of them.

    I do celebrate, more so when I'm actually IN a relationship of course ;-) but Nicola and I had a nice special dinner and we sjooshed up our bath-time for Valentines with glow sticks. We both wore red to work and school and I got some good quality snuggles from my little angel too. What more could you ask for really?

    Ps! I also set up a date to go ice skating with an old flame for when I get back from leave in March.

  13. David and I do it - we exchange gifts and he came home early :) We don't make a huge fuss but do celebrate it.

    When the kids were at pre-primary they used to make crafts at school so we embraced that.

    Its a bit harder now though. The pressure that was on them to have "valentines" this year was insane. It is not proper. Neither of mine had one and neither did their close friends but it was still very much the topic of conversation and not in a "love is all you need" romantic kind of way :-/

  14. Y and I claim we don't but it's a lie we celebrate in our own little way. Exchange of cards and gifts (not every yr though), and tiny little gestures - last yr Y made dinner before I got home. This yr I wore pink and my office canteen was decorated with red balloons and red paper hearts and there were red and white serviettes and we got heart shaped pizzas. I guess it's every man/woman to her own


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