I know a lot of people who choose not to celebrate Valentine's Day because they feel like it's become too commercialized. After all, it was invented by Hallmark as another occasion when the majority of adults feel the need to purchase greeting cards, right? And florists and chocolate companies and restaurants all boost their prices for no reason other than that they can. Americans feel pressured to buy their significant others expensive gifts, take them out for pricy dinners, and buy them overpriced bouquets and chocolates just to prove to each other - and society - that they care. How dopey is that?
Well, I admit, that's a legitimate argument. And I have a great deal of respect for anyone who chooses to ignore the societal pressure to "prove their love" one day a year. But, much like Christmas, I refuse to allow the commercialization of the holiday to take away a day which I enjoy using as a reminder of something that is deeply important to me.
In the same way that I can celebrate Christmas in my own way, without giving in to the commercials ordering me to buy my kids ridiculously expensive toys and piles and piles of unneeded presents, I can celebrate Valentine's Day in my own way, without needing to buy my husband $60 worth of faded roses and gift certificates for a massage and a bunch of car washes, and pay a babysitter so we can go out to a fancy restaurant the same day that half the known universe goes out to a fancy restaurant. I like having one day a year when the calendar tells me, "Hey, you need to focus more on your relationship with your husband. You need to forget about being a mother for a second and focus on being a wife. You need to take a moment to let him know that you love him, And why."
I love my husband all the time, and I do try to let him know often. Every day, I try to take time to focus on my relationship with him, and to make sure it doesn't get overshadowed by my relationship with my kids. We frequently go out without the kids and take time to nurture our relationship as husband and wife. I don't need a commercial holiday to tell me to do it. I don't need one day a year to focus on my romantic relationship. But I want one. I like having one. And I refuse to allow Hallmark to take that away from me.
There's a lot more to Valentine's Day than that.