We’ve seen it dubbed Single Awareness Day, Potential Disappointment and Unrealistic Expectation Day, Raised Expectation Day, and Clichéd Proposal Day. Yes, we’re talking about Valentine’s Day.
Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day puts an unfair pressure on people (men and women included). I don’t know about you, but what used to be a fun holiday has turned into a holiday that feels a bit phony and contrived. And I know I’m not alone.
When I was in elementary school Valentine’s Day meant something much different. It was pink + red; winter days full of puffy, white snow; exchanging cartoon-themed Valentine’s Day cards with my classmates. An added bonus would be when a roll of Lifesavers and box of Conversation Hearts was part of the exchange and maybe a frosted cupcake (or two) at the Valentine’s Day party. The sweetest part was toting home a brown lunch bag stuffed with cards and candy. Oh, those were the days.
It was only when I grew up that I realized how Valentine’s Day was less about universal love, pink + red, and winter than about a day dedicated to stuffy white-clothed dinners and overpriced red roses. And it was at this point that I began to view Valentine’s Day as a holiday obsessed with over-wrought romance rather than one about all the loves in our life. This is when I stopped celebrating the day in traditional form.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about V-Day, because no guy (or gal) should feel pressure to buy red roses and presents to express his love. Sure, some of us love that (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with loving white-clothed dinners and roses, by the way!), but many of us also favor genuine home-spun creativity.
For those of you in the anti-expensive dinner camp, here are 7 Don’ts for Valentine’s Day — the overall theme intended to unload pressure to spend lots of money on Love Day and instead honor our loves in a genuine, authentic way.
1. Don’t buy me chocolate. Make me cookies with chocolate.
Check out this super-easy fool-proof recipe. Or even better, how about we make cookies together?
2. Don’t take me to a fancy dinner, make me dinner.
A delicious homemade dinner is always a treat. But mac & cheese or frozen pizza are also both perfectly fine by me, too.
3. Don’t pop a bottle of champagne.
Please just don’t. Make my favorite drink instead, such as the Wildflower, made with St. Germain, Elderflower liqeur, herbal tea, lemon juice, and fresh ginger.
4. Don’t buy me jewelry — not a ring, not a charm bracelet, not a locket.
Speak my love language instead, which costs next to nothing.
5. But candy is always a good idea.
We all know that chocolate endorphins are the kind of gift that keeps on giving. So there’s no need to go light in this department. (Check out this offer on your favorite #SweetTreats from Shipt here.)
6. Don’t go to Papyrus; write me a letter or a Post-It note instead.
Because I want to hear what you have to say, not what some card has to say. And also because sometimes less is more.
7. Don’t get me roses (or any flowers at all).
But if you must, get me Gerberas (or some other flower) instead. Please just don’t deliver them at work.
These are just my V-Day Don’ts, but what are yours? And more importantly, what makes your ideal Valentine’s Day? Comment below!
In addition to being Shipt’s Content and Social Media Manager, Sarah is a former English major, certified holistic wellness coach, soul-music fanatic, dim-sum addict, and loose-leaf tea junkie. You can read more by her at her blog, Clucky.