After my last two posts, it might come as a surprise to some readers to be reminded that my spouse and I don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’ve been married for over twelve years now, and we’ve never done anything out of the ordinary for this holiday other than possibly showing each other clever gifs and memes about it if we find some good ones.
No, this post isn’t going to be a rant against Valentine’s Day as a concept. I’m all for showing someone how you feel about them on February 14 as well as on every other day of the year. No one knows for sure how long they have left on this Earth, so I’d never discourage anyone from make their loved ones feel appreciated. If celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional way with chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and a fancy dinner makes someone happy, good for them!
I believe in living a simple and minimalist lifestyle for myself, though. That belief sticks with me no matter what date is on the calendar or how much advertisers try to convince me to buy things I don’t need.
Buying something you have no use for is a waste of time, money, and emotional energy. Spending more than you would have spent if you waited a few more weeks to purchase the same exact product is equally wasteful.
Every year, I watch the price of romantic items like flowers and chocolates rise sharply before Valentine’s Day only to fall back to their normal prices shortly after that holiday. For example, there is a fancy type of dairy-free chocolate I can eat that costs about $20 for a dozen pieces during most of the year. That same quantity of chocolate is sold in pretty boxes for about $25 during Valentine’s Day season.
These prices affect everyone who purchases these products, so it always surprises me to see people pay so little attention to them.
If you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a traditional way, why not buy silk flowers and pick out the card, wrapping paper, and other non-perishable stuff for next year when all of that paraphernalia goes on sale this year? Or, better yet, why not celebrate it at the end of February when everything is deeply discounted?
Given my over-active immune system, Valentine’s Day would also be a wasteful holiday for me for a few reasons that don’t apply to everyone. I’m mildly allergic to milk, so 99% of the Valentine’s Day chocolate out there isn’t something I can actually eat. I’m also mildly allergic to flowers, so any bouquet of live flowers is going to make me sneeze and cough uncontrollably until I throw it away.
Even though I live in a very small home and regularly try to donate or throw away things that are no longer useful to me, I still own more stuff than I need.
(My mother used to complain about this same phenonemon when I was a kid. I didn’t understand it then, but I sure do now!)
Other than the winning lottery number, of course, there are very few non-consumable things in this world that I would like but don’t currently own.
While I’d appreciate the sentiment if my spouse bought me something like a stuffed animal or jewelry for this holiday, I never want or expect anything like that. It’s not my style, and I’d much rather save the majority of that money and maybe splurge on $20 worth of fancy chocolates once the price for them finally drops again.
What I really want is to have an uncluttered home as much as is possible given our small living quarters and need to store the things that we do use often enough to keep.
If someone wants to give a Valentine’s Day gift, I know exactly what I’d recommend to them.
The Best Valentine’s Day Present of Them All
Love is the best Valentine’s Day present of them all. When I say love, I’m talking about every kind of it you can imagine:
The love that two or more people share when they’re in a romantic relationship.
The love of a parent for their child.
The love of a family – whether chosen, biological, adoptive, or foster – for everyone who is part of it.
The love shared between friends.
The love a person feels for their pet.
The love a pet feels for their human.
The love a stranger feels for another stranger.
The love we feel for ourselves.
Unlike chocolate, nobody ever suddenly runs out of love. Love doesn’t require batteries, lose pieces every time you move, or need to be protected from the elements. There is no manufacturer’s warranty for it, and you can’t find it in any store.
Love is free. Love is precious.
If I were going to celebrate this holiday, I’d do it by telling all of the people I care about how much they meant to me.
Thank you for reading this blog, followers. I deeply appreciate every single one of you, and I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.