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Clueless about Valentine’s Day?

Every February I am reminded of the paradigm of loving or hating Valentine’s Day. If you are like me, this holiday is a complicated crossroad between “should I” or “do I.” Should I care about this overly exasperating formal celebration or do I need to care?

Maybe because my family never acknowledged this day, and I never got heart-shaped pancakes in the morning or a bowl full of chocolates, it is safe to say that whether I like it or not, Valentine’s Day is not going anywhere.

Actually, it’s growing more visible every year.

In reality, so much of who we are comes from what we have learned from others. The support and love that we get from being accepted, respected and valued comes from people we surround ourselves with. Aside from the religious explanation to Saint Valentine’s Day, this day gives us the chance to show gratitude towards those we love, from friends to parents to significant others, as well as it serves as a reminder for those that need to be reminded to recognize others.

It’s not only about mushy cards, sloppy kissing and heart-shaped steaks that may, ironically, set off that coronary thrombosis you were wondering about. You can fall in love with software, for example, and even win something geeky in the process.  If you are used to doing things differently from time to time you may want to keep reading.

The fun colors of Valentine’s Day

Advertisements can get so fixated with using a specific color palette that people become immune to the meaning. As soon as the New Year’s celebrations are out of the way stores become showered with the Valentine’s red and pink that makes us gag and flinch.  No wonder that by February 14th we are completely sick of it. Try something new, making an experience that is different in both color and creativeness may also win you points for originality.

The gesture is what counts the most; forget about the red and pink flowers, chocolates, and cards. Personally, I am simply unable to be myself when giving or receiving a gift that is Valentine’s red or pink. These colors are not who I am, but would my intentions be less if I gave a blue box of chocolates with tickets to see the Blue Man Group… I do not think so.

Colors can take on personal meanings and be both a positive and negative in that respect.  For instance, my friend’s mom is a huge Valentine’s Day advocate but after battling breast cancer she associates the color pink with difficult times. My friend wanted to continue to celebrate Valentine’s Day for her mom, boyfriend and friends but to make it a little different she started using rainbow colors. By doing this my friend could carry on her mother’s tradition while being true to herself.

Be selfish in what you give

Why can’t Valentine’s Day be a time of fun? Who says that it needs to be dull and cheesy? Perhaps that is the main reason for haters to bash the holiday but if we start associating Valentine’s Day with more fun and less romance maybe we can get them on board.

I tend to give gifts that I enjoy because I find that memories are more important than a material token. You think this is selfish? I think it can be very effective as long as you pick an activity that the other person enjoys as well. Durable memories are made by sharing quality time together. I am talking about activities that are stress-free and entertaining. Try tickets to a concert, a sport event, couple’s massage, a day at the salon, tours, trips, subscription to yoga-cooking-painting classes, etc.

My point is, if I am going to invest in a relationship, I will not sustain it with a gift that can be easily forgotten and will probably not strengthen the connection. If you waste hours and days planning your idea of a perfect gift you will overlook the ultimate goal — to share a close time with the person you care for the most.

Break routines

The only element of Valentine’s Day I really love is the fact that I get to interrupt my routine. The truth is that when we fall into a routine we lose our spontaneity and become monotonous thinkers. Breaking the everyday habits and norms allows me to reflect in who I am, where I am in my life and what I miss doing.

As a result I reconnect with the characteristics that made me likable to others in the first place. Possibly I am not the teddy bear and flower kind, but I certainly enjoy the heart shape chocolates at my coworker’s desk that interrupts my train of thoughts for one minute to, perhaps, let me chat about something other than work.

To keep with the trend of doing things differently and breaking routines… who says that you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day? As long as you do not neglect the celebration I say it is ok, if not better, to rejoice a couple of days before or after February 14th.

By doing this you can avoid crowds and potentially save some money on your gift.  Valentine’s Day, like many holidays gives businesses unnecessary excuses to price food, gifts and cards much higher.  Love and affection has no price.

The network of love

In professional terms, results depend on the collaboration of all teams in a company. The same translates to relationships because it takes getting to know each other’s strengths and similarities to be attracted to the idea of a friendship, a date or even a marriage. Both networks of love require us to be dedicated and trust individuals who are willing to appreciate and nurture the relationship at times.

I wrote this piece because I was hearing so many discouraging comments about Valentine’s Day that I wanted to prove that if you put a spin to it, it can actually be bearable. So here is where I stand, and feel free to disagree, I am willing to accept the right of our world’s hopelessly romantics to have a day to cherish.

People will be expressing their freedom of speech in all social networks with love and hate messages. And in case you were looking for an incentive to try a product or a service you have been thinking about, you will most likely find a promotion that meets your needs, like our very own JRebelLove campaign (yeah, you can win stuff). So have a heart and respect other’s opinions and maybe even celebrate this year. Perhaps you “shouldn’t” celebrate Valentine’s Day every year, but I urge you to “do” it if you can.