I’m Opting Out Of Valentine’s Day

Feb 14, 2022

I love to not be a part of things. For example, if everyone is buying the newest coolest gadget, years could pass before I either get one myself from necessity or simply skip the entire fad until it’s no longer a selective must-have item. I didn’t buy Bluetooth earbuds or AirPods until I was gifted them by my job-about one year after everyone already had them. Part of that was that my cable earbuds worked just fine and although it was cool to see people at the gym moving back and forth without needing to wrap a cable around them, I just didn’t want to cave in. When I welcome new or old things into my home and repertoire, I want it to be because of me and not influenced by outside forces. 

Similarly, I also get a kick at not agreeing to the consumer culture for Christmas. I want to detach myself from that forced tradition of showing the people you care about that you care about them through a gift on a day you are supposed to gift them something and they expect it. 

I not only don’t want to spend the money, but i feel that the gift in and of itself (regardless of price or thought) is nevertheless a forced act of love. It’s absolutely expected to receive a gift for Christmas and similarly for Valentine’s day from the people you love but doesn’t that take away from the excitement of being thought of when the gift is purchased and allocated? Might just be me. But I’d like to think I’m not alone in this. 

And well, I don’t want to be a part of that much longer. 

Now, this definitely doesn’t mean that I haven’t celebrated such gift-giving holidays before. Growing up, my family always gifted us gifts for the season and even made Santa a thing with his huge stockings that had your name on it or waking up with a bike next to your bed during primary school. It was all great fun and I don’t ever want to take that away from myself or any other kid. But now, as I’m older and am able to choose how to celebrate and evidently consume in the name of Holiday, I want to use my agency and decide for myself where I lie in the holiday journey. 

I vividly remember Christmas 2019, my 3 other roommates and I made a great effort to gift each other things and contributed to stuffing our stockings for the sake of loving fun, it was a success. We each gifted a variety of both sentimental and absolutely silly things to each other like a Cass beer, an IKEA keychain tote bag, and a notebook with a handwritten note to name a few. The entire process of cooking breakfast and opening Christmas gifts together was a highlight to our home life. I’ll never forget that Christmas.

It’s 2022, and after spending 2021 holidays on a completely deprived budget due to unemployment and trying to make sense of “me”, I’ve firmly decided not to gift gifts on major holidays. I not only don’t want to be a part of the consumer culture aspect of it but I just don’t find the process of gift purchasing as meaningful as opposed to a random Tuesday because you were thinking of that person. 

I am, however, curious about gifting experiences or gifting handmade gifts that you can’t find or replicate at a department store. For example, and this just the start, I wrote and mailed notes to some of my closest friends with words (thoughts and memory) that described how I remembered them and how they made me feel. I shipped letters to China, Korea, South Africa, and the U.S.A. All together this cost me less than 25 usd and took weeks to make. I’ll share more on this later and will link the blog here for reference.

So, with that said, including not having joined in last years’ gift-giving I’ve come up with this: I will gift to the kids. Mostly because I want them to experience fun and memorable holidays as my cousins and I had growing up. As an adult now, it’s my turn to continue the tradition, and I’m more than happy to do so. But indeed, I feel it’s necessary for me to get creative and show how gifting doesn’t always need to correlate to consuming in the traditional “mall shopping” sense. 

As for Valentine’s day, I don’t want it. This is how I feel now, anyway. I understand it feels nice to make plans and expect to be surprised because at the end of the day who doesn’t like to be pampered? But the way I see it, and I understand this is the stubbornness in me and the kick I get of going against the grain, I would much rather have a normal 14th of February as you do any day and be considered throughout the year. What I truly mean is I don’t want to be pampered on THIS day. I want to be pampered on any day. And it really doesn’t matter if it falls on the 14th of Feb or the 23rd of June or the 11th of Nov. Pepper me love throughout our life. Knowing that a special something thinks of me on a day is more than enough to make me smile and feel loved. 

Things  absolutely abhor during Valentine’s day:

  • teddy bears (will just gather dust and take space)
  • flowers (they die, I much rather have a plant) 
  • chocolates (especially in a heart-shaped container)
  • love notes (notes, in general, are fine but I’m not a big lovey-dovey person. Save your rhymes for another timeーsee what i did there
  • matching gifts (I won’t lie, I’ve purchased matching shoes for my partner before. Not because it would be cool that we’d be matching but because the shoes were too cool for us both to not have them)
  • balloons (again, just more dust to gather)

Now that I listen to myself talk/type. I think I cringe on this holiday precisely because of its emphasis on love. Might be something that I should look into.

In the meantime. Love me any day, except Valentine’s day. 

Author

Author

Natalie Amezcua

Natalie (she/her/hers) is a humane educator and solutionary writer living in Los Angeles.

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Natalie is the author of sonatsays – blog. She is a solutionary thinker, dog mom, writer, and advocate for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights. Natalie has recently moved to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in Asia for several years to focus on her studies.

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