I DESPISE VALENTINE’S DAY! In my opinion, it is one of the most ridiculous made up holidays for commercial profits out there. The Valentine’s Day hype has gone from a day to stop and appreciate, recognize, and spoil the person that you love with words and acts of kindness, to a day to compare how much someone has spent and done, like getting a reservation at some fancy restaurant, buying flowers, candy, and cards that are outrageously priced, and don’t even get me started on the price of jewelry (though at least with jewelry, you can look at it and enjoy it for years to come).
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about making sure that our loved ones feel loved. I just believe that you shouldn’t have to go into debt to prove it. I have said this for years. “If my husband can’t show me that he loves me the other 364 days out of the year, then one day will not save his ass.” This is probably not a popular thought, but my family made an intentional decision to NOT celebrate Valentine’s Day in our home.
We choose NOT to go out to eat, purchase candy, flowers, and cards at inflated prices. Instead we might:
- Write a note telling each other what we appreciate about the other person
- Place a sweet note in the lunch box
- Make and bring a special cup of coffee for your sweetie in the morning
- Watch a sunset together with your favorite evening drink, or
- Just sit holding hands and watch a movie together
The point is to spend time together and make each other feel special. Then on another day we might go and enjoy a meal or dessert out together without all the crowds, or come home with a hand-picked bouquet.
The statistics are stunning. In 2022, the average person per capita spent over $175 just for Valentine’s Day. In 2020 just before the pandemic the average was $196. That’s per person! That statistic includes people like us who do NOT celebrate or spend money on the holiday. Which means some people spend a whole lot more than that.
So if you want to stop the financial insanity, talk to your spouse and come to an agreement of what you both want. Make sure you put it in writing so no one is confused and no one’s feelings are hurt. Maybe you agree to:
- Buy the food for a special meal and cook it together
- Agree to limit spending to XXX per person
- Rent a movie and sit on the couch with a bowl of popcorn together
- Light a candle and put on your favorite music
Whatever you decide, make sure you both agree and that everyone’s expectations are clear. The last thing you want is an argument, and clarity helps avoid arguments.
Here’s a bonus idea: if you have kids, you can do kids trade-off nights with friends, so you and your spouse can have a night to yourselves. Maybe once every month or so, you send your kids to a friend’s house for the evening, and then trade and you have their kids another evening. This reduces the babysitting costs and you know they are safe and taken care of while you get to enjoy some time with your spouse without the kids!