Written by Growing With Spawn, in collaboration with Jan On The Blog
Hey Hey it’s Shelly from Growing With Spawn, Jan’s blogging twin from a different continent, and today I’m taking over Jan On The Blog! I could write a piece on who I am and why I’m here, but instead I’ll leave it for you to uncover. Before you dive into my Valentine’s woes, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Jan for hosting me in what will be one of many more collaborations to come.
Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day
I know a lot of you are getting really excited for Valentine’s Day, but I might have to be the grinch for this one. Valentines Day, or the day of love as many would call it, is the one day of the year that I feel the least loved. I’ve had several experiences in the past that really cemented my disdain for this horrific day, all of which I will share with you in a minute. I get that for the young ones, everything is fairly new so they just have to celebrate all the fake holidays in a year. But can we just take a second to realise what this day really means?
What’s the history of this day?
Just to make sure I don’t sell you a load of rubbish, I did a quick Google search to understand the meaning of this day. For those who don’t know, Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to St Valentine, a Roman Catholic priest from the 3rd Century. He became known in history for secretly marrying soldiers despite the expectation that they would remain single and commit to serving the country. St. Valentine’s secret was uncovered, and he was jailed, later to be executed on the 14th of February.
In modern times, we have carried on the tradition of commemorating this day as a day of love. We send roses to our loved ones, buy expensive chocolate and shout our love from the rooftops… What a beautiful story behind such a commercialised day! Or is it?
The expensive part of Valentine’s Day
In all my years, I do not recall a single Valentine’s Day that didn’t leave me wanting more. This is obviously on me for having such high expectations, but before you bash me, hear me out. Valentine’s Day as currently commercialised isn’t so much about love, rather, the presents. If you walk around the malls, you will see that almost every store has a special – which isn’t really much cheaper. Malls actually make the most out of such holidays because everyone is trying to one-up their loved one’s ex with a lavish gift. God forbid, you gift your loved one something less valuable than the previous year! Can you imagine what a catastrophe that will cause!
If you know anything about my dating history, the only romantics I’ve dated were my teenage boyfriend and my current husband. So come Valentine’s Day when everyone else was swooning over the gifts they got, I just waited… And waited… I wish I could say that is the only reason why I don’t celebrate the high turnover day, but it goes back even further…
My brush of fate with Valentine’s Day
As a thirteen-year-old in a very strict, girls-only, catholic high school, the one day we were allowed to acknowledge the existence of the male race was on Valentine’s day. The seniors decided to create a tradition of sending roses to our friends in the boys-only school. Yes, thirteen-year-olds sending roses to real boys when they couldn’t even show their knees. I think it is safe to say that the nuns had nothing to do with it, but you never really know.
That year, I had a boyfriend who I had never met in person but chose to send him a rose anyway. And because it was a thing for ‘friends’, I sent one to his best friend too. The only problem is that there were quite a few guys with the same name as my boyfriend. So he didn’t receive his rose even though his best friend received one. I’m sure you can guess that I didn’t have a boyfriend by the end of the day. All thanks to a silly rose.
What does this mean for my husband?
Well, luckily, I have married a romantic who has no cares for commercialised dates. He has actually made it a point not to get me anything on Valentine’s Day ever! Shocking right? But here’s the thing, over the past few years, he has done so much leading up to the day then completely skipped Valentines. Last year, his ‘thing’ was to send me flowers every day in the week leading up to it.
I know you’re probably wondering what the point of that is. Well, we both agree that love is a thing that needs to be celebrated every day of the year. You can’t just wait for a day that the world has dedicated for this to express your love. It’s a little insulting if the only times you feel loved are on your birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. What about the other 362 days of the year? Do we just skip over those because the world isn’t celebrating it?
Why am I being grinchy?
I get that everyone’s experience with Valentine’s Day is different. But the one thing that I always wonder is, do you really know what you’re celebrating? I mentioned the history of St. Valentine marrying soldiers, but the part I intentionally left out was what happened when he was in prison. History has it that he cared for fellow prisoners and even one prisoner’s blind daughter while imprisoned. So where do the expensive gifts and romance-only concept of love come from? Well, marketing of course.
When I think of love, I think of my family, my friends, and my community. I think about the less fortunate and the disabled. The concept of celebrating love is such a beautiful one granted it is done right. So instead of making the rich richer as the marketing strategies try to get us to do, why not share love in meaningful ways?
Ways to bring back the true meaning of Valentine’s Day
Now that we know that Valentine’s Day was never meant to be a day for expensive gifts, what can we do differently about it? How can we bring back the true message that St. Valentine was trying to get across? Well, that’s something Jan will tell you over on my blog.