In Defense of Valentine’s Day (Plus Easy Ways to Celebrate)

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. The world, especially now, could use a day dedicated to LOVE of all kinds. A lot of people say that Valentine’s Day is too commercial. Some say you should be kind to your spouse all year long and shouldn’t need a special day. Others say it’s unfair to those who don’t have a romantic partner. While there are some valid points in these arguments, I say that Valentine’s Day can be whatever you want to make it.

Valentine’s Day Reminds Us to Celebrate Loved Ones

Of course we should love our partners all year long. We shouldn’t need a special day of remembrance. But the same could be said of all holidays. We shouldn’t “need” a special day to remind ourselves to be thankful, to remember our religious beliefs, or to tell our loved ones how we feel about them. We should be doing these things every day.

But the truth is, setting aside a day to remember a certain person, issue, or event allows us to dedicate additional mental space, time, and effort to celebrate the role they play in our lives. What we do on those days doesn’t matter as much as the heart we put into it. The extra effort is what makes it special.

Valentine’s Day date at whataburger
One year we went on a date night at Whataburger, where we originally met working in college.

Every year we celebrate adds to the nostalgia of the day and brings back memories of years gone by. It’s a way we tell time and bring order to some of our most cherished memories. We remember the feelings we had and the people we shared them with.

Easy Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

How can you make Valentine’s Day an extra special day without overcomplicating it? There are so many ways to celebrate, so just pick something that brings you joy and go with it. Here are a few suggestions to inspire you to and get you started.

Celebrate with Friends

You can plan something special with girlfriends on February 13 for Galentine’s Day, the day for “ladies celebrating ladies.” You can go to brunch, plan a girls’ night out, do a “secret valentine” gift exchange, or anything else that sounds good to you and lets your friends know you care. I recently found a cute idea for a Galentine’s Day Waffle Cake that I thought would be perfect to share with friends. I didn’t quite “nail it,” but it was delicious!

{Related: Celebrate Your Friends with these Easy Galentine’s Day Ideas}

valentine's day waffles for galentine's day ideas, easy ways to celebrate valentine's day
Nailed it!

Celebrate with Kids

Valentine’s Day is also very fun to celebrate with kids. I usually like to get my kids some of their favorite candy, a small stuffed animal, and write them a quick note to tell them what I love about them. You can take it a step further by making them heart-shaped pancakes or baking treats together. These chocolate strawberry dessert kabobs look like they could be a lot of fun. Pretty much anything you do, your kids will love!

valentine's day bakeware for valentine's day gifts for kids, easy ways to celebrate valentine's day
I found quite a variety of heart-shaped bakeware and kitchen gadgets at Target that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

I did some browsing at Target and found a ton of cute gifts that kids would love. From heart-shaped kitchen items to crafts to cookie kits and cute stuffed animals both boys and girls would like, there was something for everyone. And the Dollar Spot did not disappoint!

{Related: 4 Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts}

Target valentine's day gifts and crafts for valentine's day ideas for kids, easy ways to celebrate valentine's day
Target has lots of options available at good prices. Here are a few things I found that my family would enjoy!

Celebrate with Your Partner

You can go big or you can go small on Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I always tell my husband that the most meaningful thing he can give me is a handwritten note, and I mean that.

Find out what your partner’s love language is, and try to treat them with something that would mean the most to them. Whether it’s an at-home movie night, exchanging cards, making a playlist of songs you both enjoy or can dance to, doing a service that your partner would appreciate, giving each other massages, or giving small gifts, you can keep the costs relatively low. It’s the thought you put into it that counts—really!

{Related: What She Really Wants for Valentine’s Day}

If you want to give your partner a hint about a gift you might love, be direct! If you want to just buy a gift for yourself instead, do that! Personally, I love heart-shaped jewelry, and Kendra Scott has a lot of pieces that are perfect for Valentine’s Day. I have the Ari Heart Pendant and I really want the Haven Heart Gold Strand Necklace.

Finally…to round out your Valentine’s Day celebrations, check out a Collin County Mom’s advice on how to spice up your sex life.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, let the day be about living in the moment with those you love. Notice the things that make them special, and tell them. Do things you love together. Don’t let the moment pass you by, because these really are the memories that last a lifetime.

Kristen Gardiner
Kristen Gardiner moved to the Dallas area (Allen) in 2018 with her husband and three boys (born in 2010, 2012, and 2015). She has a marketing degree from Texas A&M (class of '06) and an M.B.A. from Texas A&M --Corpus Christi. Kristen met her husband while working at Whataburger in College Station, and they have been inseparable ever since. She has spent the past few years as a freelance writer and marketing consultant. Kristen is passionate about storytelling and sharing about struggles with mental health in motherhood on her blog Driving Mom Crazy.