14

Feb

2014

Valentine’s day – Will You Be Celebrating?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month you will know that today is Valentine’s day! The internet is awash with hearts, love stories, styled shoots, Valentine’s day themed food, anything related to love and it has been covered, sometimes in a good way, and sometimes badly!

I was thinking a few weeks ago how I should celebrate the most romantic day of the year on the blog, how I could do such a day justice? I asked myself what it meant to me, and what it meant to my readers. After Christmas and New Year, Valentine’s is the most popular time for proposals, so I guess that’s a pretty big deal. It’s also a popular time for weddings; my mum and dad in fact got married on Valentine’s Day, (although theirs was a far from romantic marriage!) But what does it really mean? And where does it stem from?

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I decided to firstly do a bit of research and I came up with all sorts of stories. From Historical facts about Christian martyrs who were named Valentine in the Roman times, to stories of Folk law and European traditions, to Valentine’s being associated with the beginning of Spring. It seems there is no right or wrong answer, the stories go on forever.
However one thing does seem clear from my research; the actual Valentine’s day that we celebrate, the tradition that we follow year in year out, is actually something that sprung up from either the UK or the USA. Hand-written notes of love were turned into mass-produced cards in factories as soon as printing presses were invented: ‘In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine’s Day as an occasion for giving jewellery’ (*Says Wikipedia). So it seems as I thought, it is the shops that pushed forward this tradition and over the last few years it has been pushed out to the max!

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I class myself as kind of romantic, I always like to celebrate anniversaries and have said from the day we were married that no matter what, we would always do something for our anniversary. The same was so for Valentine’s in our first couple of years together. The first Valentine’s I spent with Nik was very lavish: presents, cards, a trip away in a very fancy hotel and a gorgeous meal. The following year we went out for what should have been a lovely meal, but in the end we just felt as if we were on a conveyor belt of couples trying to prove they were in love with each other for that one day of the year!
So from there on we decided that we wouldn’t go out, we’d stay in and just spend Valentine’s together not with a room of complete strangers. So for the last few years there have been many a M&S ‘meal for 2’ special served up on Valentine’s day, TV turned off and music on, fizz and really making the most of each other!
However I do have a problem with Valentine’s day, and I am hearing this from many people at the moment. The whole sentiment behind Valentine’s Day is to tell that person you love them on that one specific day, BUT shouldn’t we be doing that all the time?

Personally Nik and I tell each other we love one another every day, and we say it with meaning! We wake up in the morning and have a cuddle; we go to bed doing the same thing. I love Nik with all my heart, with every bone in my body and I make sure he knows this every day! And that is the way I hope our relationship stays!
Saying I love you shouldn’t be restricted to just one day of the year; it should be something we share freely thought the year!

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Saying that I have bought Nik a card, and I have bought him a present (all be it just a token) but the reason I have done this is out of guilt, guilt that the card manufacturers and shops have put on us. Would I be a bad wife if I turned up with nothing? Would Nik be disappointed? Probably not, seeing as I have to remind him each year to get me a card, even to the point of telling him which shop to purchase the said card from!
Yet I/we still do it!

So what I’d LOVE to know from you today, is do you still buy into Valentine’s Day? Will you be celebrating today? Or are you boycotting the whole thing?
I guess as a wedding blogger I should be promoting the whole concept, but I kind of feel I’m over it!
I’d also love to know what your plans are today? If you are celebrating, what are you doing? And if you’re not what are your anti valentine’s day agenda?

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Personally Nik and I will be cooking dinner tonight together, and then sitting down to a marathon session of ‘The Wire’. I don’t work on a Friday night so it has fallen quite nicely into my working schedule! Yep I know, not especially romantic but hey ho, I’ll tell him I love him again on Saturday and Sunday…..and Monday.

What about you?

 

 

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Comments

    Madeline

    I am a bit of a sucker for all sorts of celebrations and excuses to make things and for as long as I can remember I have made Valentine’s cards and gifts. However, these have often been made for the people I love (like my family and friends) rather than a romantic gesture. I do always give my man a (handmade) card and small gift and today me and my daughter will be baking up some Valentine’s goodies.

    Madeline x

    Reply
    Becki

    Ah yes Kelly, I feel like an Amen is needed after reading this.. I’m in exactly the same state of limbo with feelings towards Valentines day because me and the hubby have not really ever been THAT into Valentines Day, apart from when we first started seeing eachother but we were kids back then really so a candy heart shaped lolly and a cute teddy was just lovely at 16 years old! Now it seems that no matter where you go you are guilt tripped into buying into a load of cheap red heart nonsense that will most likely get binned within a week or to go completely over the top and spend ridiculous amounts of money on flowers that we wouldnt have otherwise bought, grand gestures and like you said the conveyor belt meal for two in a plush restaurant surrounded by other couples and you almost always get practically shifted out of your seat as soon as you put your knife and fork down.
    So we decided to boycott a long time ago, but this year is the first Valentines as a married couple. Nothing has changed, but it kinda has too as it almost puts another load of guilt on you to buy the “husband” and “wife” valentines day cards. We have resisted temptation though and I’m still not quite sure if I feel remorse or ever so slightly liberated by it haha!
    So instead we are gonna do our usual friday night and cook a meal at home with a bottle of wine and a bit of TV and then tmrw we shall start decorating our lovely new home and then treat ourselves to the cinema and popcorn for our date night. We dont need all the fluffy red stuff to enjoy it and we say we love eachother at least three times a day, at the bottom of every email and text and sometimes in the middle of arguments too so we dont need to do anything too special to remind us of it.
    Who is to say what romance looks like or should be, it’s more the little gestures that make my heart sing. A little kiss on my forehead, a cuppa when I need it the most, being gently woken up by J stroking my nose or a night on the sofa watching Notting Hill for the millionth time. This year will most likely involve getting all lovey dovey about a favourite paint swatch for the hallway.. or a blustery walk in the woods with the dog but as long as we do it together then it will be perfect!
    But if J is reading this.. then diamonds are always greatly appreciated! :oD

    Reply
      boho

      we still managed to do cards and presents even though we probably don’t need to, Ijust feel so guilty if we don’t bother! xx

      Reply
    Corinne

    It’s great to read someone talk honestly about Valentine’s Day, especially on a blog which is basically about love! I don’t hate today, I just ignore it and never buy a card or gift for my husband because I tell him every day that I love him. He shows me in little ways every single day that he loves me, getting my coffee pot ready before work, leaving me little notes hidden somewhere, just by being lovely really. These little things mean such a lot, he works full time and we have 4 children, we are fairly busy! My husband usually buys me a card or flowers today, I think he feels the pressure and worries I’ll be upset if he doesn’t, this year I asked him not to as it just makes me feel guilty for not doing anything for him. I can honestly say I don’t mind at all, this morning there was a note on the coffee pot saying it was ready to go and that small gesture showed me that I’m loved.

    Reply
    Samantha

    Lovely Valentines Day post Kelly!
    Me and Simon will be sat in front of the TV with a Marks & Spencers tea on our laps :) We don’t normally do anything – Simon said to me last night “We’re not doing presents are we? We can’t really afford it just before the wedding can we…” And then I reminded him that actually he has never bought me a Valentines day present in the last 5 years haha ;) And I Moonpig’d a card – but that is mostly because I haven’t had time this week to get to a shop. So as you can see we are extra romantic on this special day ;)
    Hope you both have a lovely night tonight :) xx

    Reply
    Gemma

    My husband and I will be celebrating with a nice home cooked meal for tea, and a bottle of wine, but tbh that’s what we do pretty much every Friday! I think we should let our loved ones know we love them all the time, not just on Feb 14th :) xx

    Reply
    Kirra

    I’ve always been a bit in two minds about Valentines Day… On the one hand I have that same view, that we show our love every day and have date nights etc, so why should Valentines Day be any different? But on the other hand I am a sucker for any excuse to get a gift and write a love note, so we do always do something, just using it as a reminder for a particularly nice date I guess! Last night we went a meal at our favourite local restaurant and despite plans for a big night were so knackered from baby/work duty that we looked at each other over our glasses of cheeky wine and said, “let’s go home, eat cake and watch a film on Netflix” and I have to say that wandering around the supermarket choosing a chocolate cake knowing that I’d be tucked up at home with my man soon was more romantic than anything :)

    Reply
    The Wedding Gift Shop

    I think you’re absolutely right. We always buy one another cards, personally I prefer a card with a lovely message rather than a gift just because it is Valentines Day. There are so many ways to show your partner how much they mean to you and doing something on any other day of the year is much better in my opinion because it shows that you have thought about it rather than be forced to do it. xx

    Reply

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