I have to admit straight up that I loved the rant by Nat’s mom on why we should ignore this most commercial of days. She’s not wrong – it’s a retailer heyday but at the same time, if you are celebrating it, there are some ways that we can use the holiday to contribute to the greater good.
Should you choose to celebrate it, here are a few ways to enjoy the holiday provided by my favorite organization, Local First AZ and a few extra ways, provided by me.
1. Find a unique and special gift at a local boutique.
2. Make a card or valentine greeting from things at home. (Photo love above sent to me by my DH)
3. Go to the library or local book store together and find a book of love poems – read them aloud right there!
4. Enjoy local theatre or live music.
5. Pick up some locally made sweets for your date or make your own. Jackie’s caramels look amazing.
6. Put a drop or two of beet juice (or squish a cochineal) into the kids’ milk to make it pink.
7. Make your meal red. Have a cherry tomato salad and pasta tossed with marinara. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter on sliced potatoes for a plate full of valentines.
8. If your budget allows, choose a local independent restaurant for your romantic dinner.
9. Consider a service date. My 13 year old went to play his violin at an assisted living center. Now THAT’s a valentine.
10. Get fresher flowers from a local flower shop.
Valentine’s Day pays homage to Saint Valentine, a Roman priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. As Claudius forbid his military to marry, St. Valentine carried out marriage ceremonies in secret. His actions and his refusal to abandon his faith caused his beheading on February 14th – a journey of love in the face of hardship and oppression and the reason for Valentine’s Day.
However you spend your day or your money, consider the local merchant who really does see the 14th as an economic opportunity.