The shops were full with heart shaped boxes of chocolate, flowers and advertising about making sure you buy something nice for your Valentine were everywhere. Every year it gets me. And I admit I did it too, I advertised my products in connection to V-Day in a different way too. Trying to make a sale, trying to convince someone they need to buy it in order to make their loved ones happy.
But is the gift really what matters? Is it really only about an item to purchase and then gift? Is it how we show our affection and love? Is this entire hype not much more about making a sale? Filling tables in the restaurants, selling the bubbly? Do we really need to buy stuff to show our love to each other?
I don’t think so. V-Day is part of our society. It’s nice to have a day to celebrate relationships. Just like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I don’t have an issue with that. But where does it stop. You have birthdays, Christmas, name days (who celebrates them?), Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas in July (yes that’s a thing here in Australia) and so on. They all have one thing in common: They make us believe that we have to head out and buy a gift or gifts for the people we care about. And we expect to get a gift too.
Recently I heard a statement of a young woman: “And you know what he did? He bought me the handbag and told me what it is before he gave it to me. That was it. My day was ruined…” So that guy heads out, spends heaps of money on a handbag (heaps!) and then gets so excited because he knows that she always wanted that handbag that he can’t wait any longer to give it to her and then her day is ruined? Seriously?
So much pressure! Pressure on people buying things, wrapping it right, presenting it right and in the right moment, the right day, the right time. Instead of going with the flow and gifting a gift when you feel like it. Out of the blue, unexpected. Just like that. Because we want to. Not because and ad tells us to.
I’m not saying it’s all wrong. I love all those special days too. But keep it real. Keep in mind what it’s about. It’s not about filling the bank account of some company. It’s about a genuine gift for someone you care about. It’s about appreciation for each other. And that you can show in any form at any time… no need for a special day… Buy that special something on that odd day, when you feel like it. Write a card on Valentine’s Day to let them know how much you love them. Don’t get blamed into having to run after a gift. Tell your special person what they mean to you. In your way. In your words…