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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?
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!
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!
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?
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?