Saturday, 9 February 2019

Experiencing Valentine's Day

Some people love it and some people cannot stand it but the day of love is fast approaching and I would like to encourage you to experience it in a totally different way.

Personally I quite like valentine's day. A lot of people will argue its a commercialised holiday that just forces you to spend more money and that you don't need a specific day to tell the person you love how much they mean to you. I agree you don't need a specific day to tell the person you love how much you love them and I agree it is commercialised but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it.

The commercialised nature of valentine's day is something I really do not like and I think it is a shame that all our holidays and celebrations have been turned into days of over consumption. As you will know if you've been reading my blog for a while, I always strive to live seasonally and I enjoy celebrating each season and celebration as it comes but in a more traditional way. I like to encourage more time spent together as friends and family creating beautiful homemade decorations from things lying about the house or in nature. I love to cook and bake seasonally choosing to celebrate with a feast of smells and tastes and sights that are reminiscent of that particular time. For me it is much more about the experience of it all. I like to collect memories not things.

And so it is with valentine's day. This year I want to encourage you not to give in to overconsumption but to instead choose to celebrate differently. Here are just a few ideas of how you can experience valentine's day.

1. Ladies Night

All throughout my teenage years I would organise the Ladies Night on or around valentine's day. This would be a chance to invite all my girlfriends to a meal. Sometimes we would have it at my house and sometimes we would go out for dinner. It was a chance to celebrate the love we had for one another and to enjoy our friendship. It was a truly wonderful occasion and I have so many memories such as singing at the top of voice on Sing Star whilst eating take away or sharing hot dough balls dipped in Nutella at Pizza Express whilst laughing til tears ran down our faces. Valentine's day isn't just about romantic love, it can be a great time to celebrate your friendships too.

2. The Couples Dinner

Valentine's doesn't always have to be a dual affair it can also be a great time to catch up with friends. Try organising a dinner party where each couple brings a different course. One couple can bring salads, the other starter, the other pudding and so on. Or if there are going to be quite a few couples you could have a potluck. That way no one is under pressure to cook the whole dinner and it makes it a much more fun and relaxed affair. Spice up the evening with some home made cocktails or play a few couples games where each couple has to guess their partners answer. It could be as relaxed or as formal as you like. A great chance to catch up with friends and celebrate being in love.

3. Homemade

My first few valentine's with my husband we had very little money but I still wanted to show him just how much he meant to me and so I would make something. One year I made him a box of heart shaped chocolate cakes (which disappeared very quickly!) but it could really be anything. Some ideas in the past have been fudge, jam, home made relish. If food isn't your thing maybe you could knit or crotchet a hat or scarf or mittens. Pinterest has a flurry of great home made gift ideas so make sure to go and check them out for inspiration.

4. Acts of Service

Another great way to show your partner or friend just how much you love them this valentine's day is through acts of service. Maybe you could do their washing, cook a few meals, clean the house or hope them with their errands list. A few times I've come home expecting to share the cleaning and chores with my husband only to find them all done whilst I was out. It completely changes my mood and makes me feel so lucky to have some one do those things for me.

5. Date Night

And finally the traditional valentine's celebration, a date night. For a lot of people valentine's day can be a nice change from being at home cooking dinner and cleaning and watching TV. It's a chance to go out and do something together just the two of you for a change and that can be really important and special.

If like me however, you and your husband have regular date nights then you could use valentine's to do something a little bit special and it doesn't have to cost the earth. Think lying out under the stars (take a duvet though, it'll be cold!) or maybe you could watch the sunset together. One of you could cook a fantastic meal or you could both cook a dinner together to enjoy. One of my favourite thing's my husband does is what we call Russell's spa where he will play spa music, light candles and place them all around the bedroom and then give me a lovely massage with some our favourite lavender oil.

If you fancy splashing out a bit maybe you could go away for the weekend together or try that amazing restaurant you've heard about so many times. You could take a horse ride together or go for a kayak. Valentine's is a time to think outside the box, to move away from things and instead to look towards experiencing something together.

Of course you can also have a great date night with a best friend. Maybe treat you best buddy to a wonderful day out just to show them how much you love and cherish their friendship.

So there are a few ideas of how to experience valentine's day differently this year. For me it really is about making memories. They will always last so much longer than the shiny excitement of a new present. Valentine's doesn't have to be expensive or over the top, it's just a chance to show the person you love the most, whoever that might be, just how much you do really love them. I hope you all have a wonderful day next week.


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