Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday
For those unfamiliar, a “Hallmark Holiday” is a term used to describe a holiday created for commercial purposes that seeks to exploit the emotions of consumers for reasons of profit.
People may argue the legitimacy of this term, but for the intents and purposes of this article we will assume it true (mostly because I believe it… and I’m the author.) 🙂
Define your own celebrations
Despite popular cultural norms, we strive to choose our own celebration days rather than letting them be dictated to us by commercial entities or anyone else. While we do celebrate some traditional holidays, we still try to do so in a way that makes us happy rather than just following along with the spending culture we’re inundated with and surrounded by.
Per celebrating loved ones, I endeavor to celebrate my love for them daily rather than certain days of the year. I love my wife every day and hope to show her that as often as possible. I love my mom every day, and hope to show her that as often as possible. I love my sister every day and hope to show her that as often as possible. You get the point. Rather than picking days, I think it more fitting to try and make them feel special every time I come in contact with them.
Despite the aim to always honor loved ones, I still have particular days I like to focus on them but prefer to define these days according to the personal relationship, not popular culture.
Anniversaries are a big one for me. I view them as special because they represent the loving and life long union of two people setting off to share their lives with one another. I like to show particular admiration for loved ones on these special days.
Celebrating the day people came into this world is another huge one for me. What better opportunity to focus on individuals than the anniversary of their birth.
Although both of these event types are very commercialized in popular culture, I enjoy placing the focus on the person and the relationship rather than focusing on gifts of high dollar amounts. I typically do this by expressing my appreciation for them through words, pictures, and memories, etc… or by meeting a specific need they have.
Valentine’s Day – What we did and how we saved
Since we do not celebrate this holiday in traditional fashion, we focused on making it a great day like we do with all other days. Initially we planned to split a meal at one of our favorite restaurants then visit the MSU planetarium, but chose to avoid the crowds and stay home instead. If you didn’t already know, we are in debt so we limit ourselves to a maximum of one night out per month. Also, we decided long ago that dinners out should be limited to occasions that are special to us, so we chose to save our special dinner for next week… our 5th wedding anniversary! 🙂
Rather than going out, spending money, and fighting crowds… we made our favorite dinner together – Indian Madras Chicken Curry – and cuddled up to a good movie afterward. We saved about $20 on the meal by cooking at home (which also provided us leftovers for the week ahead) and utilized our Netflix streaming subscription to watch a movie at no additional cost.
All said and done we saved about $30+ and spent a lovingly relaxing night at home eating our favorite dish and cuddling up to a great movie.
Valentine’s Day – What did you do and how did you save?
Do you believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day? Did you celebrate it traditionally by spending money to enjoy each others company, or did you celebrate it creatively without focusing on gifts and evenings out?