Recapturing the magic
Has Valentine’s Day become too commercialised? Not that long ago, this special day mostly involved sending a card to someone you may have secretly admired but had hardly ever, or never spoken to. It was a day of mystery and excitement, where secret longings and desires could be expressed, and hearts could be set a-flutter. As such, it encapsulated the essence of pure romance – simple and beautiful – which people could indulge in for a special day.
Although we may think that Valentine’s Day is a relatively modern invention driven by commercial interests, it actually goes back a very long way, right back to 496, when Pope Gelasius first instituted it as a day for expressing love and affection.
Today, we live in an increasingly pressured society – in almost every way. Now it is this time, or now it is that time – so get your purse or wallet out again. The pressure to spend money on Valentine’s Day can be just as great as it is at Christmas. Some things now seem obligatory – the store-bought card, the dozen red roses, the chocolates, a weekend away and so on. But in reality, these things only detract from the spontaneity of the occasion. Remember, this is supposed to be a romantic day, and romance should happen at any time of the year, not just on 14th February.
What a shame that for many people, Valentine’s Day brings nothing but negative feelings. For those without the money to spend what they feel they should be spending, this day can make them feel alienated and depressed. For those without a partner for example, it can bring about a feeling of ‘why haven’t I got somebody to love – I’m not good enough?’
If we take Valentine’s Day back to its essence, we can see how it can actually serve as an opportunity to take some time off from our financial worries and our ‘grand life designs’ – the house, the car, the holiday, the handbag, and help us to re-focus on the tiny, simple things that matter so much more.
Those powerful gestures of touch for example – holding hands, the cuddle, the kiss. We can’t buy these things – they are beyond commercialism. Similarly with hand-made cards – they are your images and your words – not somebody else’s. What, in fact, could be more romantic than stopping to pick a bunch of daises to give to the one you love? Acts such as these, beautiful in their simplicity and sincerity, seem to have been buried under an avalanche of must do’, commercially driven activities.
So perhaps it’s time to use this Valentine’s Day to re-connect and share the excitement and magic of being with your lover, heart and soul. When we embrace Valentine’s Day in its simplicity and purity, we can use it to re-invigorate our relationships to rediscover what is special about being in one other’s company. So rather than sending a dozen red roses, think about sending just one rose. Or how about writing a love letter, or even a poem, by hand – and giving it to the one you love, rather than spending money on an image that somebody else has created?
Rather than book that fancy restaurant this year, how about re-lighting those flames of passion with a truly sensuous evening together? Take the time to make a personal card that the other person can keep and treasure. Prepare a meal of delicious, tasty morsels you can share with your fingers, or feed to each other. Light a fire and a few candles, burn some incense, put a warm rug on the sofa and snuggle up together underneath it.
The pressures of Valentine’s Day commercialism are all too real but when we choose to ignore them and really concentrate on what the day is all about, it can be just so liberating. So, have a truly Happy Valentine’s Day!