Each year on 14 February many people celebrate their love for their special somebody with heart emblazoned cards and gifts of flowers, succulent chocolates and a romantic candle lit dinner.
On this one day per year, the restaurants are full of tables for two and you can’t walk past a card shop without being blasted with love hearts and red roses. Yet scrolling through recent posts on social media has left me with the distinct impression that there is a huge divide amongst us mamas with some strong feelings about a day designated for love. Is Valentine’s Day simply a commercialised ‘Hallmark’ invention that should be shunned? Or is it a day of romance, passion and grand gestures? Is Valentine’s Day a perfect opportunity for reaching out to loved ones and cementing our relationships? Or is it purely a beastly corporate invention during which restaurants and florists take the opportunity to hike up their prices?
Nadia Ali Shaikh believes that the commercialisation of love and the opportunistic price increases on Valentine’s Day make it less a day of romance and more one of profits.
“Love is an emotion that should be shared and felt each day, every day. Thanks to modern marketing tactics, millions are spent on roses, cards, gifts and all such material things that though appealing, can be bought and gifted anytime without any other reason. Call me a scrooge but that is cash that could be saved for a better purpose. After-all, flowers wilt and cards end up in drawers, being added to each year.”
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Ishreth Farhan believes that it is mostly the pressure felt by couples over the commercialisation of Valentine celebrations that sees many couples shying away from the day.
“In essence the commercialisation takes the fun and spontaneity away from the way in which love can and should be celebrated. The expectations a woman or man may have from their partner to plan something extraordinary every year is unfair and potentially stressful.”
Jayne Crouch believes that Valentine’s Day is about the small gestures that don’t need to be costly, just thoughtful, to have an impact.
“I think that it is what the individual makes of the day that counts, ignore the commercialised elements and use the day as time to express love. For me, a hand made card from the kiddies and the hubby goes much further than a shop bought card bearing someone else’s words. Just like any other holiday, there is an element of marketing and money-making, but I think the beauty of the day is in words and gestures as opposed to over priced dinners.”
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Trudi Jones agrees.
“I think that Valentine’s Day provides one of those stop and think moments in a hectic and crazy life, where you have the opportunity to go above and beyond the usual gesture to show how much you care and to realise how lucky we are.”
It seems that we all approach Valentine’s Day in our own sassy way. Whether you show that you care in little ways everyday or whether you choose to make grand gestures of devotion on the day itself, doesn’t really matter. As Charles Schulz says: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Featured image via noblegasindustries.com, This post was originally published on the site in Feb 2017.