Blog Carnival entry from the lovely Kim of the beautiful Dream.Delight.Inspire
Whether you are single or in a relationship, Valentine's Day will no doubt have an effect on you every year. Magazines hit you with lingerie spreads, telling you that in order to make your man happy you need to spend at least $200 on the latest lace and ribbon underwear set, bright red ruffled garter and thigh high fishnet stockings. Chocolate shops go crazy with heart and lip shaped chocolate, body paint sets and teddy bears holding boxes of merchandise. Gift shops fill their windows with heart shaped balloons, soft toys with "I Love You" written on them and gift baskets filled with sweet treats that make your mouth water. But what message does this send about Valentine's Day?
It makes me quite sad when I hear that people refuse to celebrate it because they consider it to be an "overly commercialised Hallmark holiday". Yes, it is now, but that's not how it started. Apart from the well known St Valentine's story, some people in France and England believed that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which adds to the idea that Valentine's Day should be a day for romance.
In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was often considered a time for purification. I think Valentine's Day should be viewed simply as a day to celebrate your love in whichever way you'd like to.
If you are currently single – use Valentine's Day to really spoil yourself. Sleep in, dance around your room listening to your favourite music, stretch, watch your favourite movie, spend hours in bed reading, write down a list of everything you love about yourself, paint your nails a bright colour, eat delicious food, bake cookies or cupcakes and decorate them, sing, go for a bike ride or roller skating, have a long bubble bath, get a facial or massage, swim in the ocean or get up to see the sunrise.
If you are in a relationship – spend the entire day doing wonderful activities together. Cook breakfast together (my favourites are French toast or pancakes) and eat in bed, have a picnic in the botanic gardens, write your lover a poem, have a meal at your favourite restaurant or eat fish and chips on the beach (depending on what hemisphere you're in), tell your partner all the things that makes them special to you, have a spa or sauna together, book massages side by side, watch the sunset with a bottle of wine, cuddle up on a beanbag with a DVD, go for a walk and explore new parts of your suburb, create a treasure hunt with little love notes and tiny presents with clues, learn a new language together via podcast or CD and laugh as you mispronounce words, plan a holiday or go for a midnight swim and enjoy hot chocolate with marshmallows when you get home.
What are you planning to do for Valentine's Day?