As a hopeless romantic, I like the idea behind Valentine’s Day; one day of the year when lovers express their affection for one another by showering each other with gifts and expressing their adoration with kind gestures. What’s not to like!? But, this holiday is one full of controversy. Many believe that this day was created by so-called ‘greeting card’ companies, dubbing it a Hallmark Holiday; claiming that this day is only recognized as a way to generate business, and I say to those people… Who the fuck cares!?
Even if this were true (and I assure you, it’s not), a business is a business. They exist for the sole purpose to make a profit, and if they did in fact create this holiday for people to go out and buy mass produced goods in order to show that they care for someone in their life, so what? I think it’s a great tradition!
No one is forcing you to go out and buy that $100 box of chocolates; go to the nearest drug store and pick one up for $5 (or $10 if you feel like splurging). No one ever needs a stuffed animal that can take up the entirety of a mid-sized sedan’s trunk space (and this is coming from someone who had a 4 foot horse stuffed animal…), but if a cute teddy bear holding a heart is calling your name, or rather, your significant other’s name, then go for it. Once the initial joy of receiving such a gift wears off, donate it to a local children’s charity. If giving the gift of flowers is what you really want to do, then stick around ’till the end where I will share my insider secrets. 😉
“But I show my love all year round; I don’t need a holiday to do it…”
This may be true, but like anything else that you do everyday, it may become monotonous, and something done purely out of habit. Like when you are ending a phone call: “Love you.” “I love you, too.” click. How many times a day does this conversation take place? How many times do you think people really, wholeheartedly, 100% mean exactly what they are saying? Sure it may be true, but it also may be only said out of habit.
The way I look at Valentine’s Day is that it serves as a good reminder: Hey, I have a special someone in my life, and I want to make sure they know that they are loved. It’s as simple as that. And if all it takes is a text or a phone call to that special someone in the middle of the day, just reminding them that you’re thinking of them, that’s fine. Or you want to go out to a place that sells greeting cards together, pick the cheesiest cards for one another and exchange them in the store without buying them, that’s cool too.
And if you don’t have a special someone in your life to call ‘Valentine,’ that only means one thing… more discounted chocolate for you when the day’s over.
All I’m saying is that Valentine’s Day does not have to be a day filled with huge gestures and flowers and chocolates and over-sized plushies and jewelry and store bought greeting cards. It should be a day where people slow down and recognize loved ones for being there and supporting them. What’s so wrong with celebrating love? Nothing! Don’t make this day something that it’s not.
Now for the top secret information I hinted at earlier. I used to be a florist and I’ve worked a number of Valentine’s Days, so I want to give you some trade secrets when it comes to ordering flowers on Valentine’s Day.
- Don’t wait ’till the day of or even the day before to put your order in. Like most things, flowers need to be ordered ahead of time, and when you have one day where hundreds of arrangements are ordered, made, and then delivered/picked up, there can very easily be confusion. Instead, call at least a week ahead (a month ahead even, if the florist is accepting orders that early). That way, your arrangement will not be made with old flowers and rushed through because they were given last minute notice.
- If you want to save some money, DO NOT ORDER THROUGH 1-800-FLOWERS or any of those national chain moochers. All they do is jack-up the price for you and give the actual florist (the person doing 100% of the work) little to no profit. Instead, contact your local florist and tell them directly what you want. Chances are, they will even be able to cut you a deal on that cutesy arrangement you found on Pro Flowers’ website.
- Want to save even more money? Instead of picking out a specific arrangement, ask for a ‘Designer’s Choice.’ You can tell them what you’re looking for in terms of types of flowers to include, what color, and even size/price range. This way, there is no random mark-up; you cut out the middle man resulting in an arrangement costing a fraction of the price.
As for saving money on the rest of the holiday’s niceties, wait ’till after February 14 and score 50% off discounts or more! God knows, retailers need to get rid of the stuff so they can usher in Halloween crap if they haven’t already started. I’m kidding of course, but it feels that way, doesn’t it?
What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? Do you think it’s a Hallmark Holiday? Do you have a fond memory from a previous February 14th? Let me know!