American Culture: Valentine’s Day!

It’s February 14th and hearts, chocolate, and flowers abound! What day is it? Β Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day!

Now this day is celebrated in many ways in many parts of the world, but Americans have differing views on this “day of romantic love.”

(1) Valentine’s Day is the day that couples everywhere buy each other gifts and expect displays of romanticism and caring. Jewelry,

My Valentine from my parents <3
My Valentine from my parents <3

chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, and romantic dates are used to show your love for your partner. Males and females give each other gifts in America; we don’t celebrate White Day or have some other holiday for the other half to return the affection so it’s all done on this one day. Some people adamantly state that it’s the thought that counts while others correlate the size of the gift or display with how much their partner cares for them. Either way, Valentine’s Day is a day that lovers expect to spend together (or at least thinking of each other if it’s long-distance) doing something to show the other that they care.

(2) S.A.D. Day is Valentine’s day for all the single people out there! Single Awareness Day is acknowledged as both good and bad depending on the person. Some people resent the displays of love and affection between couples all over the place and are unhappy while others get together with other single friends and party! I usually grabbed my roommates (one single, one in a long-distance) and we would go out to dinner together and then stay-in for a movie night! This day presents a wonderful challenge showing the power of positive thinking!

(3) There is also a group that refuses to acknowledge Valentine’s Day because they believe it has become too commercial. And it’s true that stores have had candy, lingerie, and heart decorations everywhere since mid-January trying to get customers in the mood

Happy Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

to buy lavish gifts for their significant other. Every commercial on T.V. is full of happy couples joyously presenting another diamond or bouquet to each other. Again, I recommend positive thinking! If you let yourself get caught up in the commercialism you lose the meaning behind your gifts and I would understand why people don’t like that. So remember it’s the thought that counts! πŸ˜‰

(4) Another group, single or paired off, recognizes Valentine’s Day as ‘the day of love’ and shares this with everyone. Neighbors, friends, family, lovers, enemies,yourself, everyone! They see it as a day where the community can work towards making anyone they come across a little bit happier by showing they care. Give someone a smile, maybe even a hug! Brighten someone’s day. People give chocolate or little gifts and cards to their friends and family. This is the group I joined this year, my parents are taking me out to dinner tonight and I received a wonderful little box of my favorite candy: Reese’s!

I’m sure there are other groups that didn’t make this list but these are the major viewpoints I have come across in my life.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated usually in elementary schools with a class party and the giving of small candy and/or fun cards with popular cartoon or movie characters on them. Usually it is a wonderful time for crafts and creative lessons! There aren’t usually

parties in Jr. High and High schools but all over the school are boys and girls carting around stuffed animals and balloons from their boyfriends and girlfriends. I’ve seen girls trying to carry stuffed bears bigger than themselves between classes! Valentine’s Grams are a popular school fundraiser at all levels. For anywhere from a quarter to $5 different clubs and organizations in the school sell and will deliver flowers, cards, candy, or stuffed animals to another persons classroom. My high school choir and band came in during class and sang as an option for their Grams.

No matter how you’re celebrating, use this day to tell the important people in your life that you care! I think it’s wonderful that an entire day is devoted to love and friendship like this. It’s a nice reminder to you and your loved ones that you are not alone and always have each other.

Happy Valentine’s Day all!

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you belong to any of the groups listed, or more than one? πŸ™‚

 



6 thoughts on “American Culture: Valentine’s Day!”

  • I have always viewed Valentine’s Day in a positive light, as a day to celebrate all kinds of love, whether it be love of family, friends, or spouse. This year we are celebrating Japanese style so I made my husband homemade chocolates. πŸ™‚

    On another note, I love Reese’s peanut butter cups! Have you ever had Moose Tracks ice cream? It’s vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge and miniature peanut butter cups. So good! I have to let every Reese’s fan know about it to share the love. πŸ˜‰

    • That’s great! I wouldn’t even know how to go about making my own chocolates, did you get a kit or find it online?

      And I absolutely LOVE Moose Tracks! Finally another person who has heard of it! πŸ˜€ The only improvement would be if it was also made with chocolate ice cream. πŸ˜‰ Can never have too much chocoate. Have you ever heard of Bear Claw ice cream? It’s my second favorite. It’s chocolate ice cream with smooth caramel and chocolate covered nuts. Yum!

      • I am so not handy in the kitchen but I found the easiest way possible by using chocolate molds. I have photos of the entire process on my blog (http://wanderingmyra.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/valentines-day-in-japan/).

        Isn’t Moose Tracks the best?! Ooh, love your idea of replacing the vanilla ice cream with chocolate though! I agree, you can never have too much chocolate. I’ve never had Bear Claw ice cream but it sounds delicious. I’m not sure I can find it here in Japan but I’ll have to add it to my list of food I’m looking forward to when I head back to the US. And yes, I really have a list. ^_^;

        • Wow, those turned out so good looking!!! Craving chocolate now… πŸ˜€

          Is it a very long list? I’m starting to try and think of foods to just keep eating before I leave for Japan in a month!

          • Hm, it’s not a terribly long list because I love Japanese food and there is always some new Japanese snack to try. But some things are hard to find near me or if I can find them, they can be rather expensive. (I live in the suburbs of Tokyo so depending on where you go, availability might vary.) So on my list are things like:
            sourdough bread (it’s mostly just white bread here)
            turkey (it’s just ham luncheon meat in my store)
            varieties of cheese (there is a lot of bland cheese and though you can find things like extra sharp cheddar, it’s expensive)
            Mexican food (it’s not popular here)

            I also have some things on my list (like Papa Johns pizza) just because I have a very specific craving that no substitution will satisfy. So generally it seems it’s all the ‘comfort’ foods on my list!

Leave a Reply