Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Valentine's Day - bah humbug!

I loathe the way that over here (in the UK) every 'special' day now seems to be turning into mass consumerism. Valentine's Day should be about showing your love for someone (or declaring your fondness for them), which ought to be a very personal thing. Instead, people are conditioned to buy overpriced bouquets (the price of red roses is extortionately raised on February 14th), chocolate and meals out. And if they fail in their duty to line the pockets of shopkeepers, they're often made to feel bad about it. Why? Because they're told that this is the way to behave. Just as we are told we must spend, spend, spend in order to make our loved ones happy....and love us in return.

What utter nonsense.

What's wrong with a simple handmade card? Or a poem? In fact, there is a lovely scene in 'Cranford', where, upon seeing factory-printed cards for sale, the ladies declare that anyone stooping to such levels instead of making a card, cannot possibly be sincere!

Just as with Mothering Sunday, if you need to have a designated day to tell someone how much you appreciate them....

I admit I am rather curmudgeonly when it comes to all these events. I'm happy to let V/Day slip by unnoticed but K likes to do something romantic (it's not like we don't have a romantic relationship anyway!), so I go along with it. In fairness though, we don't do the whole champagne and roses thing. A candlelit dinner for two in our beautiful cellar tends to be as far as it goes, which is good. Actually, we always have candles on the table for dinner. And breakfast too sometimes! I really wouldn't be impressed if he spent a small fortune on a bouquet. After all, what's a bunch of flowers saying? Looks lovely for a short while, starts to fade and wither, and then eventually dies. That's not my idea of true love, and it bears no resemblance to what K and I have.

And while we're on the subject of pointless celebrations;

I don't celebrate Easter because I am not a Christian. I don't celebrate Samhain (or Hallowe'en) because I am not a Pagan. And if it weren't for K and his family, I'd have nothing to do with Greedmas either!

I actually find it incredibly sad that the majority of people in the UK appear to celebrate things that they have little or no idea about. Non-Christians celebrating the birth of Christ by getting themselves into debt and overeating? Is that really what Jesus was all about? Non-Pagans celebrating the time between times by dressing up as Barbie and extorting sweets and chocolate from their neighbours? And you wait, if the prol has its way, very soon we'll all be expected to hang footie flags out of our windows in April to celebrate a chap in the Middle East who inexplicably became England's patron saint by virtue of his cruelty to animals.

I have a solution though - instead of dressing up our desire to have a good old knees-up and tack-fest with pseudo religious excuses, why not be honest about it? Let's replace Christmas with Consumer Day, Hallowe'en with Disney Day and Easter with Chocster. And if we have to have it, instead of St. George's, let's have National Act Like a Thug Day.

And Valentine's? If you truly love the person you're with, then every day should be an excuse to show it.


sapphireblue said...

This is how consumer we are here in the U.S. We have Black Friday here. It's the day after Thanksgiving where all the stores discount items for Christmas. People wait in line at the store at 4 in the morning. An employee was crushed to death by a stampede of people. For what? Just for stuff.

I'm with you. I hate dealing with "holidays", although I love some Halloween candy.

tinebeest said...

hear hear! Do you know how much trouble mr beest and I had to explain to people we didn't want any presents because we didn't need anything and we couldn't take it back with us/ put it anywhere. Mum had to provide us with an extra suitcase- sigh.

We also had a most satisfactory swap with a friend: some Colmans mustard he wanted to try, for a Belgian beer we hadn't had yet. If only all present-giving could be along those lines: things you actually want...