Commercialised nonsense, or something more…

Let’s have a think about this.

Who benefits most from Valentine’s Day?

We could all be cynics and say it’s just the retailers and businesses that profit, but I would have to disagree. Having been a Valentine’s recipient, a non-recipient and a Valentine’s gift supplier; I have experience from all angles.

As I look back on the various stages of my life, Valentine’s Day has held different weight, sometimes more than others.

When I was a teenager, it was all a bit of fun and absolute nonsense. Being single was fun! One year myself and a few friends bought about fifty cards and sent them all to one boy who was in our class at school. We posted them from all over the county! I bet he couldn’t believe it on Valentine’s Day, but I bet he still remembers it forty odd years later! I’d imagine it gave his parents and siblings a laugh too.

Seriously though – the card shop was happy, fifty cards were posted creating work and profit for the post office and the recipient might have been mortified, but I’ll bet secretly he was happy and probably still wonders who sent them!

When I was in my twenties I was either dating or newly married. Valentine’s was important. It was a lovely display of affection and I really enjoyed receiving flowers of going out for a meal. There were no distractions or challenges to get in the way so it was easy to make the effort and celebrate this special day.

However, once in my thirties this changed. Now whether on this one occasion, Mr Sutherland forgot or was too preoccupied with his new baby daughter, I’m not sure. I just remember Valentine’s Day and NO CARD! What? I couldn’t believe it! I’d just given him the most precious gift in the world – a new baby and he didn’t even give me a card! Oh, I was not a happy bunny that day. But I said nothing…. for two weeks… and then I exploded!

Now normally I wouldn’t have cared, but having just given birth a few months before that I can only assume the hormone levels were a bit off. I’m normally a mellow, laid back being who tolerates pretty much anything, but that card meant so much to me that year when I didn’t receive it.

Needless to say, Mr Sutherland has never forgotten a card since, even although I’ve said it really doesn’t matter!

Now what’s important to me is the fact he’s still here, after thirty years, still making my life more pleasant. Whenever I have a long day at the salon, the house is warm when I go in and a cup of tea is ready for me. It’s the small things he does every day. Defrosts the car on cold days, notices if I’m down to my last tin of baked beans and buys me more! Important things like that…

But I enjoy doing things for him too. Yesterday I split a load of logs and felt so happy doing it because I knew I was saving him a job. His smile when I told him made it so worthwhile.

While I totally agree that we don’t need a card to prove we love each other, it’s just a token that shows you’ve taken time to remember, to select the best verse, to write something nice and to appreciate each other.

I love Valentine’s Day. And no, we probably won’t do anything special. It’ll be a regular day; we’ll both be working and will enjoy catching up in the evening about our day. But we will exchange cards and maybe a small gift, feeling grateful for the love we still share.

What will your day be like?

What if you’re not part of a couple though? Can you still celebrate?

Absolutely! There are so many fun things to do and ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Get with a bunch of mates and send fifty cards to someone at work! You’ll make their day – unless they’re married – then don’t do that.  Seriously though, why not have an evening with fiends over a glass of wine, a face-mask and some chocolates? A bit contradictory perhaps, but I’s sure to be fun! If too many chocolates results in blemishes, don’t worry, we’ll fix you up at the salon! The banter with your mates would surely be worth it!

Or love yourself with some self-care. You’ve no-one to answer to and you can spend your time exactly as you wish. What’s your idea of a perfect day? Do you enjoy salon treatments that make you feel special? Do you enjoy solitary walks in the countryside? Do you enjoy a show or concert? Then just do it! Take that time to show yourself how much you deserve it and I guarantee you won’t regret spending that time or money on yourself. You’ve got one life to live so enjoy every moment.

Looking at the benefits to retailers…

Commercially, the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day are flowers, chocolates, cards, dining out and gift vouchers. Valentine’s Day provides a welcome boost for businesses after the Christmas shopping season. January can be a quiet month and any initiative that helps businesses to get through winter is welcome and very much appreciated.

Speaking as a retailer, I know how much we value every time you use our services and I also know how privileged we feel to know we’ve been part of your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, I hope it brings you much joy and laughter and remember to love yourself! You are unique and special. There is no-one else on the planet like you!

With love, Katrina

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