Beyond February 14: Turning Valentine's Day Cliches into Traditions
I think it’s safe to say that Valentine’s Day is that one holiday we all love to hate. We hate it because so many people have historically used this holiday as the one opportunity to make that special someone feel, well, special, when in reality doing so should be an everyday occurence. We hate it because grocery store boxes of chocolate and heart-holding teddy bears aren’t an actual measurement for love. But on the flip side, we love it because date nights are fun, having an excuse to get dressed up is always tempting, and heart shapes somehow make dark chocolate taste that much better (especially when served up with some bubbly).
While I personally like to do a little bit of V-Day celebrating, I understand why this holiday is so controversial. Love is passionate, and intangible, and fierce, and it can’t (and shouldn’t?) be measured in chocolate, cookies, candy, or balloons. But if you look past all of the commercialized crap that symbolizes Valentine’s Day these days, the sentiment behind it is still kind of sweet. In fact, there are a lot of Valentine’s Day cliches that should be embraced not just in February, but all year long. For example…
Surprising your S.O. with gifts
Since when does Valentine’s Day have to be the only time you buy flowers or a fancy bottle of his/her favorite wine?
Taking each other out on dates
If you’ve been following along for a while now, you know that my boyfriend and I take turns taking each other out on dates every month. So far, we’ve gone to cooking classes, drive-in movies, comedy shows, Cirque du Soleil performances, free museum days, and pop-up art galleries. It doesn’t have to be expensive or overly contrived, and it definitely doesn’t have to center around Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. In fact, sometimes the most fun dates are the cheapest and most spontaneous.
Spending a day pampering yourself with your girlfriends
Another thing that doesn’t need to be a once-a-year occasion. I’ll never turn down an evening of wine, sappy movies, and face masks with my friends.
Telling the people close to you that you love them
This goes without saying.
Eating loads of dark chocolate
My favorite thing about Valentine’s Day is probably the chocolate. But, I don’t need a holiday to embrace this love affair, or a man to buy chocolate for me, for that matter.
Although… boyfriend, if you’re reading this, I can always use more chocolate. I mean, if you really want to. Dark, please.
Pouring yourself a glass (or three) of rosé
Rosé and champagne: actually tasty year-round, and not just for your February Galentine’s parties.
Wearing your favorite red dress
I don’t prescribe to the idea that wearing green is reserved for Christmas or rocking red is meant exclusively for Valentine’s Day. Wear your favorite red dress whenever you damn well please. And, if you’re in the market for a LRD, go for something that you can actually wear year-round. Something versatile and fun that can take you from the office to post-work drinks in spring, strolling the boardwalk in summer, to holiday parties in December. I can absolutely picture myself wearing this dress well through 2018 paired with everything from sandals and beach bags to strappy heels and lipstick. The best things I own in my closet are the pieces that go beyond just one designated use.
This Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I aren’t doing anything over-the-top (we already had our monthly date night last weekend!). I love getting dressed up and going out for dinner, but restaurants are always so hectic on February 14th that we usually pass. At most, we’ll probably pop open a bottle of wine–on a Wednesday/work night (gasp)–cook a nice meal, and catch up on Netflix. We won’t use this holiday to remind each other how much we love each other. We already know.