Recently, on the radio, I heard a deejay say that 44% of Americans spend an average of $208 on Valentine’s Day. Maybe I am just incredibly cheap, but I was shocked. Coming from the child who was thrilled with her bag of Skittles and a card from her dad, it baffled me to hear that so many people spend over $200 on their Valentine’s Day celebrations.
However, once one factors in roses, a gift, quality chocolate, and a nice dinner, I suppose it is easier to reach the $200 mark than I originally thought. And, for the couples who want to go all out for Cupid’s holiday, I say go for it (if you can afford it; don’t go into debt for it) – to each his or her own. But, if you are not that into Valentine’s Day, or you would rather choose a less traditional way to celebrate, I am here to tell you there is nothing wrong with that. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, give up your notions of normal and decide how you two want to celebrate as a couple.
Feel free to be a little different this year.
- Consider skipping social media. Everyone already knows you love your honey, right? Do you need to emphasize it online amidst the noise of every other couple? Might it be more special if you spend the time trying to give your attention to your Valentine rather than getting attention from your followers? Maybe a hint of mystery about your Valentine’s Day plans will make them more special. We live in a time where we feel compelled to share everything socially and seek attention at every turn. Think about taking a break from that this year. Compliment your sweetheart on social media any of the other 364 days of the year – just because you love him or her, not because it is the day you feel obligated to do so.
- Hang out with your friends. Choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a different day: February 17th, March 6th, July 2nd, etc. Remember that the Fourteenth of February can be an extremely difficult day for some people – those who have lost a spouse, those going through a breakup, those who are still waiting for their forever someone, and even those who are in unhappy relationships. Instead of making Valentine’s Day all about you and your significant other, perhaps make it about you, your significant other, and several of your friends. Have people over for games or meet up at a lesser-known restaurant which might not be packed. And, you may choose to celebrate with friends like this once and never again – that’s fine. Or, you might decide to make it a tradition for whoever wants to join – and that’s fine too. I can remember the ache of seeing people with roses on their desks when my heart was lonely. Toning down the lovey dovey and spending quality time with your friends might be a true blessing to them.
- Visit the elderly and take them a Valentine. You and your significant other can still spend quality time together while bringing some hope and love to shut ins and lonely senior citizens in your area. A small Valentine and a visit may seem extremely insignificant, but to them it might mean the difference in a good week and a bad week. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV)
- Drop off Valentines for the children in your life and to children who need a little extra love. Herbert, my favorite custodian at my elementary school, bought all the teachers’ kids love pops (heart shaped lollipops the school sold as a fund raiser) one year for Valentine’s Day and I still think about it thirty years later. The smallest of gestures still matter.
- Do something to make you both laugh or to make someone else laugh! Why not go to a thrift store and pick out an outfit for each other to wear to dinner. Fill his or her bathroom with balloons (unless that would be met with a scowl rather than a smile). Deck out your car hideously with hearts/Valentine decor and drive through town. There are so many goofy couple activities which can lighten your hearts and others’ hearts.
- Do something unique. Each relationship is different than the next. There is something about you and your partner which stands out, even if it is only evident to the two of you. Take that uniqueness and create a celebration which highlights your
- Do something completely peaceful. There is something about a waterfall… sand… lying on a beach towel… and examining the clouds. Or, snuggling on the couch and listening to the falling rain. Maybe you just do not need the crowded restaurants this year. Maybe you and your love just need to find some way to slow down and find some peace.
- Spend the day in worship. Cupid and Saint Valentine may get top billing on Valentine’s Day, but we know that the Author of true and perfect love is God. Without Him, no love, joy, or hope would exist. So, get out the guitar, the keyboard, or simply your acapella voices and sing praise to Him. Read your favorite Scripture passages together. Make the day about Him since it genuinely is all about Him – now and forever.
Roses, dinner, chocolate, and presents are lovely. I happen to enjoy them all. Most people do, but it is important to remember that this holiday is meant to be about your love for your special lady or gentleman. With that said, you need not worry about what everyone around you is doing. If Stacey has roses on her desk, good for Stacey. If Lydia is sporting a new diamond bracelet, be happy for Lydia. But if you would rather go ice fishing, kite flying, or gold panning with your Valentine, you do you. If you would rather buy each other gag gifts instead of fine jewelry, you do you. If your idea of the best celebration is takeout and binge watching your favorite show, you do you.
Find a different way to celebrate love with your partner today. A way which highlights the uniqueness of your relationship, follows God’s command to esteem others, and glorifies God above all else.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3, ESV)
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10, ESV)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. (I Corinthians 13:1-8a, ESV)
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your special someone!
How will you and your partner make your Valentine’s celebration a little bit different this year?