Saturday, February 14, 2009
Saint Valentines Day
Happy Saint Valentines day everybody!
I know several people who dislike Valentine's day. I know even more people who complain about how commercialised a holiday this is, and how it truely is a Hallmark invention. The explenation then goes on about how we should show eachother every day how much we love them and maybe a complaint about the price of roses or chocolates is thrown in.
I can understand these sentiments. And I would never let an oportunity go to waste for blaming a big company for some of the ills of this world. But in truth, Valentines day is as commercialised as you want it to be. As I type this, my husbands Valentines day present is in the oven. I am baking him a dozen rose shaped cupcakes. The fact that they are cupcakes is for him. The fact that they are rose shaped probably more for me, because for him just any cupcake would be a great gift. The fact that they are rose shaped does not matter much, as long as they are edible, which still remains to be seen as I had to substitute some ingredients in the recipe. Oh well... I have a back up: a box of nilla wafers.
Yes, my friends, a box of nilla wafers might be my Valentines gift to my husband, and you know what? He would be delighted with them. Not just because they come from me, but because he sincerely loves nilla wafers and we never keep them in the house. It's a treat. Something that shows I love him, that shows I want to do something for him, even if it's just picking up a box of Nilla wafers because I know they make me smile. They are storebought in contrast to the cupcakes, but I doubt they are what people have in mind when they complain about the commercialisation of Valentines day.
The other complaint 'that you should show people you love, every day how much you love them' seems very valid at first. Unless... why if you show people you love, every day how much you love them, you don't need to step out of your ordinary pattern for Valentines day at all. Just go on showing!
Since you are doing it every day, this should be simple right? I think most people who complain about the extra effort do not take that much effort to begin with. Valentines day is not the only day that I make cupcakes out of the blue, just because he likes them. Or that I pick up a treat just to make him happy. I just love making him happy.
******we interrupt this blogpost for an important message: the cupcakes are now out of the oven and definitely a failure! I fear they are inedible, probably due to too much baking powder. A good thing I have the Nilla wafers as a back up, and a cute little card! Now back to our scheduled post singing the praises of Valentines day*****
I just like the fact that there is a day designated to remind us to be good to those we love. That are reminded once a year not to go through our daily life without telling people how much they mean to us. It may be slightly artifical, but how many of our feast days and customs are? As humans we cultivate the soil, artificially creating fields of food that would never happen in natures wonderful chaos this way. It is part of our nature to plan and to organise. Setting aside a feast day to remember something is a time honoured tradition. In all cultures things are celebrated on certain days, the sun, birth days, maturity, coming of age, religious holidays... we surround ourselves with rituals that measure time in precious moments. Valentines day can be such a precious moment if you let it. No need to buy a hallmark card. No need to spend a lot of money. No need to commercialise your love. Just enjoy this extra oportunity to show the ones you love, how much you love them.