While the origins of Valentine’s Day are up for debate, the reality is crystal clear. Every year on February 14th, we shell out ridiculous amounts of money on flowers, candies, and elaborate dinners as tokens of our love for our partner. In many ways, what started as a celebration of romance has ended up as a corporate dumpster fire of a holiday.
But what’s a girl to do when her Instagram is full of boomeranged wine glasses over expensive steak dinners and flat lays featuring infinite amounts of carefully positioned roses? The compulsion to live up to social media or societal standards can feel overwhelming in any situation but especially on a holiday meant to showcase your love for another person.
Just remember that no matter where Valentine’s Day came from, the goal has always been to celebrate the one you love. Let go of the bullsh*t and follow these tips to celebrate your love in a genuine way.
Ditch the Dinner Reservation
Instead, pick out and make your favorite recipe together at home. You’ll get exactly the meal you want while getting to spend quality time with your significant other. Avoid sitting in an over-crowded restaurant and enjoy your intimate table for two.
You can create your own restaurant-like ambiance by setting the table, lighting some candles, and putting on some of your favorite tunes.4 Tips on How to Avoid the Hallmark BS & Celebrate a Genuine! #valentinesday2018Click To Tweet
Say No to Roses
Having spent a large chunk of my youth working in the Jewel-Osco floral department, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Valentine’s Day roses are a total rip off. For 50 weeks out of the year, those dozen roses you just spent nearly $25 on cost a measly $10.99. They are also usually way better quality.
Yes, roses are beautiful. Yes, it does feel nice to receive flowers every once in a while. But there are 364 other days of the year you can get your partner flowers and not break the bank. If you’re intent on getting flowers, why not pick something equally as beautiful? Red tulips, carnations, or Gerber daisies are all great alternatives.
Quality > Cost
Cut costs (but not sentiment) by hand-making your Valentine’s Day card. Who needs Hallmark when they have you? Also, knowing you took the time to make the card rather than run out and buy one at the nearest Walgreens is sure to impress your boyfriend or girlfriend.
While purchasing that $200 watch may seem glamorous, why not opt for something a little more personal? J is a HUGE Star Wars fan so one year I got him a small picture of Boba Fett that was filled with all the lines from the movies. It wasn’t expensive but it was heartfelt and he loved it.
The point is a good gift doesn’t need to be expensive. It should show that you’re paying attention to those off-hand comments at the mall and the items that sit in your partner’s Amazon cart for months. Good gifts come from the heart, not the wallet.
Put Down Your Phone
We are all guilty of spending too much time glued to our cellphone screens. Living in a world so reliant on technology is quite a blessing. But at times like this, be aware of how much time you’re spending wrapped up in the internet vs. the now.
On Valentine’s Day, try to put your phone down and be in the present with your partner. No checking your emails during dinner. No browsing Instagram when there’s a lull in the movie. Put. It. Away.
When you get down to it, Valentine’s Day should be a celebration of your love. It doesn’t matter how much money spent, how many flowers you bought, or where you chose to celebrate. Ignore all the pictures on social media and remember your love is worth more than a Facebook post or two. As long as you are spending time with the person you love, it will be a genuine holiday.