My husband and I don’t ever go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. It’s not because we are grumpy old pessimists who hate the holiday. To the contrary! But both of us have spent quite some time working in the restaurant industry to know that it is not the best day for dining out. Waits are extremely long, everywhere is crowded, and the restaurants are all so busy that sometimes service is lacking. As a result, we’ve made it our tradition to stay in for the holiday. That is not to say that we don’t celebrate it however!
Part of our tradition is to put our kids to bed early. Only a half hour early, but every little bit counts. We generally make the kids an easy dinner, and settle them in. Once the kids are tucked in we cook dinner together. Again, nothing too fancy, but maybe something that the kids would not normally enjoy. This year I think it will be a Cajun chicken pasta.
Eating dinner in our own home while it is quiet is luxury in itself. As for gifts, we alternate years. We also have a tradition on what the gifts should be.
We buy a movie (or Redbox one!) grab a bucket of popcorn and movie theater type candy. A little indulgence goes a long way. We alternate years so that we each get a turn to pick out our movie. I try to get something that my husband would like, and he tries to get one that I would be interested in. Luckily we have similar enough taste that we have not had many duds over the last fifteen years.
That is our gift. Dinner together. A movie together. Uninterrupted time together. It is small, but for us it is something that we both look forward to. Valentine’s Day is about the ones you love, and really you don’t need candy and flowers to show love (although they do help).