The Many Faces of Valentine’s Day
Some of us declare it a greeting card holiday and don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. (Guilty.) Others, an estimated 6 million, consider it the perfect day to propose. Some celebrate with single friends on Galentine’s Day, February 13th. Others lavish their significant others with gifts; collectively around $19 billion this year. Some spend their week helping their children make 20 + Valentine’s cards for their classmates. (Guilty, again). Others spend the evening pampering themselves. (Not guilty).
The Origin of Valentine’s Day
Even the origin of Valentine’s Day is dubious. Historians tell us that it is the day (around A.D. 270) that a Roman priest named Valentine was executed for performing wedding ceremonies against the emperor’s wishes. Before he died, he left a note for his jailor’s daughter, and signed it “from your Valentine”. It is also possible that Valentine was executed for trying to convert the Roman emperor to Christianity, not for his secret weddings. In this scenario, his connection to the jailor’s daughter was the miracle that he performed: he cured her blindness. Other historians argue that it was actually the Pagan festival Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to the God of Agriculture, that started the ball rolling on this celebration of love.
It’s no wonder this holiday has taken so many shapes and forms. When I started to write this post, I had several date night outfit suggestions in mind. But the more I thought about it, the more versions of Valentine’s Day, popped into my head. So here’s a smattering of ideas for what to wear for different celebrations. And, if you have a little time, money and love to spare, I have some ideas of what you can do to create that Valentine’s warmth in someone else’s world.
If You Have A Date…
A red dress may be the obvious choice, but a classic little black dress will complement those long-stemmed roses, so much more! Show off your curves in a knit, minidress (mine has mesh insets at the shoulder).
Bloomingdales currently has a Tina Mesh Dress by Nookie that is very seductive.
French Connection’s Ellette Ruffled Faux-Wrap Dress is a little more modest, but just equally stunning.
Add some gold and red accessories for a pop of color. I love these Kate Spade Heels and this Furla mini handbag. If you want something really subtle, this Echo Scarf has one tiny red heart in its print. Can you find it?
If You’re Spending The Day With Kids…
Wear your brightest most cheerful blouse! This is what I’ll wear when I’m running all over town with my kids.
If You Are Planning To Pamper Yourself…
I just bought this Rebecca Minkoff Gracie Ruffle Sweatshirt to wear with my Athleta sweatpants. If you prefer pajamas, The Company Store has some adorable heart print pajamas for a cozy evening in. Throw on a face mask (I love this 3-step treatment from Skinesque that I received in my Fall Box of Style). Add a movie or favorite show, your beverage of choice and some dark chocolate for a perfect night in.
A New Definition of Valentine’s Day…
Between the holidays, our birthdays and our anniversary, my husband and I find plenty of occasions for indulgence, so February 14th isn’t one of them. For those of us who have plenty of love, what if Valentine’s Day becomes a reminder to share the love with those who need it the most? I think most of us give generously in December, then focus on ourselves January, so February is the perfect time to think about others again. Here are a few ideas:
This year, I have invited my friends and neighbors to a wine, dessert, and shopping event. I provide the wine and dessert, while they shop for t-shirts and jewelry (the proceeds from which support children in need). We also plan to collect basic necessities for a local women’s shelter. Instead of shopping for lace lingerie, our shopping baskets this month will include plain cotton underwear, maxi pads, and other basic necessities for women who are rebuilding their lives.
However you decide to spend Valentine’s Day, I hope that it fills your soul and multiplies the love in your world. Let me know how you’re planning to celebrate!