Written by: Purdue Student, Valentine’s Ninja
Valentine’s Day! A holiday that triggers excitement (or disgust) in many Americans. Or maybe you feel both? You just succeeded in manifesting the overall theme of one of the most confusing and expensive (both emotionally and financially) holidays within American culture!
But the thing is, it’s not rough because there is heartbreak and disappointment (although this may be the case for some striving to emerge from their cocoon of singledom). It’s rough because of the cultural and social pressure; roles must be played, customs must be adhered to, very “special” and specific and mass-produced things must be purchased… All of which you are constantly reminded (by TV ads and the local pharmacy) to adhere to. And in the end you may find yourself not entirely satisfied by the result.
So why not make this Valentine’s Day your Valentine’s Day instead of the typical Hallmark holiday? You may ask, “How could I possibly do that?!”
Here are just some ideas to make Valentine’s Day about your love and only your love. And keep in mind, we aren’t just talking romance love; we’re talkin’ friendship, kinda friends, frenemies, relatives, mom, dad, and of course cats (Don’t claw me, Mr. Snuggles! You were first in my mind!).
First off, food is a major love igniter for any person worth loving; this is basic human nature. The major question is: what types of foods would be appropriate for your target Valentine? Some ideas could include the following:
Photo by: momendeavors.com
Yeah, you’re not making anything that is in that picture. Let’s be honest. None of us are that fancy.
- Want to make your own candy hearts and send messages to your Valentine of choice? There’s a recipe for that! Not sure what to put on them? Try fitting these fancy quotes!
- What’s that dessert people on TV always mention? Tiramisu! Make this and one-up your roomie, who insists that their love life is better than yours (but you know it’s not because you’ve caught them in the library more than once when they were “on a date”).
- Death by Chocolate!
- More ideas can be found here and here because writing this is making me hungry!
If you are against giving candy, then you are amongst the long dead of the past (congrats!). That is, giving candy for Valentine’s Day was not really the custom in most Western societies until the 1840’s when sugar stopped being reserved for the beautifully bustled upper-class. (You just got hit with a FUN FACT, tell your friends.)
Not a cook but don’t mind paper cuts?! Then how about making homemade Valentine’s Day cards or paper flowers or paper cupids arrows?
Want to mix candy and crafts? YOU CAN DO THAT TOO!!! You can substitute whatever candy you want. Personally, I like putting colorful nerds in a small vial or bottle and calling it a love potion (because everyone wants candy and so no one will deny me then, right, Mr. Snuggles?*).
But let’s remember that knowing the force behind the battlefront is just as helpful in determining your next move. So, grab your chosen Valentine and learn together!
Valentine’s Day is filled with all sorts of fun facts, such as that single men tend to outnumber single women (which I am not sure how to take…), and that St. Valentine is the patron saint of “beekeepers and epilepsy”, and passing out takes on a whole new meaning to making someone swoon.
But really, none of this matters at the end of the day when you know that you share a bond with someone (whether it be your lover, spouse, frenemy, or cat) that has outlasted all the challenges faced. Just take Valentine’s Day the same way I do (or don’t, it’s your day!), as an excuse to make dinner for a family I do not typically see.
And just to end on a sweet note (see what I did there?), here are some images and interpretations of Valentine’s Day all around the world.
Photo by: Madison Duncan
*Our editors would like to add that while we are all for pets as Valentines (love you, Mr. Snuggles!) we do not endorse giving chocolate or candy to your pets, as that could make them seriously ill.