No More Valentine’s Day Rules: Celebrate However You Want!

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, we all sit somewhere on the spectrum between full-on romantic holiday bliss and boycotting it completely. I think the beautiful thing about the holiday is that you can celebrate however makes you happy. For some it’s the traditional box of chocolates, a dozen red roses, and a cute stuffed puppy with a heart saying “I woof you.” For others, it’s a cringe-worthy holiday manufactured by the greeting card companies. I think it’s great that there really isn’t a right or wrong, just as long as you and your significant other are on the same page.

celebrate valentine's day

We go through different stages in our lives, and that changes how we view Valentine’s Day. When we are little we love decorating a shoebox and writing out Valentines for all of our friends and classmates. A few short years later and we’re hoping a boy will ask us to slow skate at the roller rink (yes, people used to do that in the old days!). Eventually we stand around with our shiny braces, chatting with our girlfriends, anxiously waiting to see if a boy will ask us out on a date. And then as we get older, many of us lose that hopeless romantic feeling when the stresses of everyday life take priority.

My husband is a chef and always works on Valentine’s Day. Restaurants often run special menus that require reservations weeks in advance. So we have gotten used to celebrating it late. For us it is more of a reminder that maybe we should schedule an overdue date. We also decided early on that we wouldn’t spend much money on the holiday. (By the way, you can find some great deals on February 15th!)

Now as parents we have another element to it. Some people celebrate this holiday with their children, and others think it’s just for the partner. Because I love all things holiday, it’s an excuse to do something special for my son. We keep it very simple but he seems to enjoy celebrating holidays with us.celebrate valentine's day

So this Valentine’s Day be honest with yourself (and your partner) about what you want. Decide together how you’d like to celebrate. Be wary of the Facebook feeds that depict only the happy and perfect, the exciting and lavish. Give yourself permission to celebrate however you want. You have permission to ignore it altogether. You can go out with friends instead. You can drink wine accompanied by Netflix while your husband works. And it’s okay if frozen pizza and sweatpants make the two of you happy on February 14.

Just remember you are loved no matter how you spend the day!


Kellie Osler
Kellie received her BA in Psychology from the University of Iowa and stayed around after college instead of returning home to SW Iowa. She went to high school with Mike and they met again downtown after her college graduation. They’re now married and live in rural Riverside with their son Calvin, age 4. She owns Motherly TLC as a birth and postpartum doula, and is an active member of the IC Doulas. When she’s not building her business or chasing her son you can find her making vegan recipes, hunting for deals, volunteering at her bi-monthly eating disorder group, or putting in sweat equity on home remodeling projects. If she had spare time she’d love to write a book, do craft projects like hand decorated birdhouses, volunteer more and curl up to watch a favorite show with a hot cup of tea.


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