Hi, everyone! Greetings from the free-for-all we call Winter Break!
I figured I’d tell you about Valentine’s Day. I find it amusing that for THAT ONE DAY each year, you’re supposed to go all out for your significant other. Be thoughtful. Be romantic. Pick just right card, and just the right flowers. Or gift. Come up with the perfect blend of romance, thoughtfulness, generosity, and mystique.
But the next day, you can go back to taking your loved ones for granted again. 🙂
Lest you think I’m cynical due to prior Valentine’s Day disappointments, nothing would be further from the truth. The Captain has always had a knack for being romantic on occasions such as these. It’s ME.
Maybe this statement will require me to turn in my woman card, but…. here it comes….!…
I’ve always felt like Valentine’s Day was overrated.
I really do. Take for example, my high school’s carnation tradition. Every year in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, you could buy a carnation with a written message that would be delivered to your intended. They were color-coded, too: pink for friendship, white for secret admirer, and red, of course, for love.
(Red was the biggie!)
This caused a lot of anxiety. Because everyone wanted a carnation, you know? Well, maybe not the guys. But for most girls, it was a big deal. It wasn’t about the flower; it was being able to have one to show the rest of the school that someone cared about you. Someone took the time (and their dollar!) to send a carnation just to YOU.
Suffice to say, there weren’t tons of white ones given out. Sure, there were red. But that was serious stuff. You were like, practically married at that point.
So basically, girls walked around carrying armfuls of pink ones, because their fellow single friends had thoughtfully bought them. No one wanted to NOT get one, so they bought for others in the hopes that their friends would buy for THEM.
See how stressful! And see how old I am??
I don’t like that kind of pressure being put on people. It makes single people feel lonely and sad. It usually makes men feel compelled to outdo their last endeavors, and to try and fit a year’s worth of romance into a single gift.
(Disclaimer: I speak only for myself, guys, not for most women. Other women like jewelry and stuff. So if it works, keep buying it, k?)
But before you think my heart is merely a shriveled little rotting grape- I do love holidays in general. And I try to make every holiday a memorable occasion or tradition for the family. So when Valentine’s Day rolls around, I decorate. I buy little treats for the kids.
Because the one thing I learned from the high school carnation trauma is this- it’s not about WHAT you’re giving, but the fact that you’re thinking enough of the person to give in the first place.
I found these tiny wooden gift baskets in the dollar section of Target a few years back; each year I fill then in with little candies and treats from the Dollar Store:
For example, these zip whistles were $2 for a pack of 6. Perfect, right? Unless, of course, you’re mixing six individual zip whistles with six individual sugar-hopped children. Oops…
And I’ll point out my hypocrisy right here: even though I have told you before how I am diligent about trying to banish sugar from the house, I’m all about it on Valentine’s Day.
“Who wants sugar? Raise your hand…”
I let the little people have at it, and bravely endure the consequences by trying to tuck five hyped-up, cracked-out kids into bed mere hours later.
This was just before bedtime… as if!
As for The Captain and I, we keep it simple. I went with a thoughtful card and this:
Yup- chocolate for him, too. But this is no ordinary box of chocolates; this one played “I Got You Babe” every time the box lid was lifted. Which in addition to being unusual, is fitting. Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Where Bill Murray wakes up to the same drudgery of a day, day after day, after day, after….
We joke about this all the time, and who doesn’t love a singing box of chocolate??
And in return, The Captain arrived home with a lovely bouquet of flowers and a venti (read: LARGE for you non-Starbuck fanatics) cup of Starbucks. This is why years and years later, I love this man. Because he is well aware that the way to his wife’s heart is through highly caffeinated beverages.
Bottom Line: By the end of the day, everyone felt loved. Everyone felt valued. This, to me, is the ideal Valentine’s Day. No big, flashy gifts or grand gestures. I adore the heartfelt, simple things- the little elements that demonstrate how our love has been there for so very long, so strong- and how we can share that love with the six wonderful people that we now share our lives with.
And our Valentine’s Day bonus? A built-in sugar prevention alarm.
…because the very next morning, I heard #5 come toddling down the stairs. Then, quiet. Moments later… the melodic burst of “I’ve Got You Babe” echoing through the dining room. Followed by tiny feet scrambling away.
The gift that keeps on giving…. 🙂© Copyright 2014 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom