We used to ignore Valentine’s Day. Like many, we thought it was nothing more than commercialisation at it’s worst. When people have run out of things to spend money on, why not get them to buy stuffed gorillas (or tigers) holding love hearts?
But I changed my mind to some extent (notice the switch to ‘I’, hubby doesn’t have a choice in this). I’ve come to believe we don’t celebrate enough in our culture, particularly in Australia. Any excuse to celebrate a special occasion should be grasped with both hands. Wring the life out of life. Find joy when ever we can. So why not start with ‘official’ calendar holidays?
Marriage and children have also influenced my change of heart. It’s a lovely sentiment to argue that any and every day should be an opportunity to show affection to the one you love, but the reality is that it’s easy to take each other for granted when consumed by the daily grind of everyday living. Romance can get forgotten when there’s work to do and children to raise and dishes to wash.
Valentine’s Day can act as a reminder to take pause and appreciate the special person or people in your life. And to have fun making red cakes.
And what would be the best gift that you could give or receive on Valentine’s Day?
TIME. Quality time, whatever that means. Time without distractions. Attention. Listening. Conversation. Focus.
You don’t need to shop for this. No money spent. But it is more valuable than anything that could be purchased, particularly in a world where we are time poor and as a result, time stingy.
Giving your time means more if you’re undistracted. It means leaving the phone and the TV off. It means leaving your worries, your anger or resentments in the other room. It means having fun, being content, laughing and relaxing. Sometimes it means giving without receiving in return.
If you can manage this on other days besides Valentine’s Day, all the better. It’s important. Spending attentive time with the people that matter is what keeps us connected. DH and I realised this when we found we often went weeks without spending any time together at all, let alone ‘quality’ time. So if you’re like us, and need a little reminder every now and then remember: there’s nothing un-frugal about Valentine’s Day – it’s what you do with it that matters.
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?