Rob's birthday is at the end of October and Titus' is in early December. Our anniversary is two weeks later, then of course, there's Christmas and New Years. Then, my birthday comes along just over a week after Valentine's Day, so we've never seen any reason to throw a Valentine celebration into the mix.
I think in the early years this decision was partially financially driven. But part of it was simply strategic too. It's the one day of the year that it's impossible to find a babysitter, a table at a restaurant, or flowers at a decent price. So for the first couple of years of our marriage we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day in June... just because we could! After all, it was nice to have a reason to celebrate at a time of the year where nothing else was going on (nor sucking up our discretionary money).
We stopped that tradition once we had kids though, because then we had Mother's Day and Father's Day to celebrate as well.
We decided instead, to take our kids out on dates on Valentine's Day. So each year, Rob takes Leeann out on a date, and Titus takes me out on a date. Our hope is that over the years we can use opportunities like these to teach our kids how to properly date. When they're this age it's a matter of giving Titus the opportunity to choose where he'd like to take me, and giving him the money to pay for the date as well.
And it's an opportunity for Leeann to be treated like the princesses she is by her daddy. We're hoping this will set the bar very high for her future suitors!
Besides, as the years go by, it will hopefully give our kids a reason to look forward to Valentine's Day without all of that awkward social pressure of hoping they get something special from someone special. And hopefully neither of our kids will be solemnly sulking in their bedrooms all by themselves because mommy and daddy are out on a special date, and everyone else is being smothered by love on this unrealistically romantic, overly commercialized, hyped up holiday where everything is over-priced and cheesy!
After all, the biggest disappointments come when your expectations aren't met. And it's hard not to have high expectations for Valentine's Day when everyone around you is talking about their big plans, their romantic spouses and their expensive gifts. And every advertisement you see makes it seem as though every man should break the bank and spend his whole year scheming as to how to make this one day the most special day of her year.
I, personally, would rather be surprised on a random day. Or rather, many random days throughout the year. I'd rather go to dinner on a night where I don't have to wait for 45 minutes to get a table. I'd rather get flowers from Rob because he wanted to get them for me--not because the calendar told him he had to. And frankly, I wouldn't approve of Rob spending exorbitant amounts of money on flowers that are going to die within the week!
I'm not saying that you shouldn't celebrate Valentine's Day. I'm sure it's a wonderful day for a lot of people. I am just grateful that we have found a way to celebrate love in way that makes sense for our family, even if it goes against the grain of the way our culture celebrates!