Here it comes again….another red letter day on the calendar. It’s Valentine’s day once more. It’s that day where lovers celebrate their love for each other and young infatuated hearts declare their crush with a gesture and a shot of courage. I personally have always been a little bit cynical about this celebration, or any other ‘commercialised’ event for that matter. Now at the doorstep of my middle age, I think ‘why not?’. It has meaning if you want to put meaning into it and any calendar event such as Valentine’s day is an opportunity to do that. Moreover, Valentine’s day is about love, and love is the greatest energy of all. So if there is one day in a year where people mutually agree to pepper in more love on the plate – for goodness’ sake let it be!!
The Traditional Roots
Valentine’s day is originally a christian religious celebration for the martyrdom of St. Valentine. We now associate Valentine’s day with romantic love and this has been coming from the days of Geoffrey Chaucer when he first mused about this connection between the religious date and lovers in his poetry. Ever since it has become iconic of romance and love, symbolised by cupids, hearts and flowers. As it normally happens, the tradition has over the years evolved to include a wider meaning of what Valentine’s day stands for. Yes, it is hands down a celebration of romantic love first and foremost but it now also includes love in its broader sense. I believe that this is how it should be. Let’s say it is a celebration of heart and loving kindness.
We live in a global social climate where heart is very rarely celebrated. We celebrate victories, conquests, intellectual feats but very seldom do we celebrate the biggest human gift of all – Love. Love in all its form and glory is the heartbeat of human happiness and wellbeing – be it romantic, brotherly or unconditional love.
The Innovative Overlay
The traditional aspect of Valentine’s day has also opened up new doors for the new and innovative to come in. In terms of messages, the media has changed, for example, from hand written love notes to multimedia cards with video messages and animated graphics. The Valentine’s gift department has also expanded its inventory and now lovers are more inventive when it comes to exchanging their tokens of love. Consumer electronics or techie accessories for instance have become a popular choice for a gift together with the more traditional jewellery, weekend escapades and all. All is fair and good as long as these conventional signs of love come from genuine and mutual intentions.
Celebrating the Heart from the Heart
The important thing with celebrating Valentine’s, or any other feast, is that we really do it from our heart. As I said, Valentine’s day is, and should be, a celebration of heart. From another perspective, no matter how deep the consumeristic culture has seeped through these events, if we consciously recognise what it all stands for from the authenticity of our heart, then all is well.
So if you want to say something to your loved one this Valentine’s, say it from the heart and if you want to give something, give it from the heart. Celebrate your heart and celebrate from the heart.
A few Gift Ideas?
I’m a firm believer that it is the intention behind the gift that is of value. Some others also think that the medium is the message so if you have to say or give something to someone be sure that it resonates with your intentions. Maybe that’s also true. In all my years of celebrating and gift giving, the hardest part for me was getting down to choosing the gift….but I got better at this (The Internet has helped me a lot in idea hunting!) . So let me finish this article with a few gift ideas that have caught my fancy.