Commercialism has become a large part, if not 100 percent, the meaning of the modern day Valentine’s Day. If Christmas did not completely break the pocketbook, just less than two months after spreading bundles of money on present, Valentines’ Day comes around the corner. Celebrations usually include stores dipping their sticky fingers into our wallets again to pull out even more money to spend on our loved ones.
In my household, we celebrate an anti-valentine’s day. It is the time for our entire family to get together to express ones’ love and appreciation for everyone in the family. We tend to steer clear of all heart shaped candy, anything with a heart on it and so on. So, here are my top five things to do with my family on February 14th each year while we celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Idea #1: Game Night In:
Life can be demanding and time with the family can be pressed during most of the year but on this one special day your family can get together and enjoy time with one another. Game Night In is the perfect time to pull out those board games that have been collecting dust for years and show your family members how to have a little friendly competition. When we have game night we usually have plenty of “munchies” such as freshly white popped corn, finger sandwiches, potato chips or whatever else your family members will eat without getting hungry. Hey, if you are really inventive, you can have a new food each hour you are playing games. Your children will not get bored with the food and have more fun while playing games. Serving “munchies” also means that you do not have to cook, unless you are planning on baking something sweet.
Idea #2: Visit Non-Romantic Museums
One of the things that I detest on February 14th is that everyone and their brother is out and about savoring the “romantic spots” in the city. If you are adventurous though and want to celebrate an anti-valentine’s day why not try something out of the ordinary for the day and/or night. There are many museums that are spread out in most large cities that are deserted on Valentines’ day. It is the best time to go see that strange but fun museum that is usually busy every other night of the year. Just remember that some museums have been quoted as “romantic” such as art museums or candy museums.
Idea #3: Visit a Fortune Teller
In Japan this is a big even on Valentines’ day if you have not found the perfect someone in your life. It can also be something fun on Valentine’s Day along with someone you love. Even if you are not a believer in fortune tellers, it can be a fun experience just once. Basically just look in your telephone book for any supernatural fortune teller and most likely you will find at least one in the city you live. In fact, a small town that I grew up in with a population of less than 12,000 people has one fortune teller so you might be surprised with your city. The best part about a fortune teller is that most likely they will not be busy on this day and is a fun adventure. Try going with a good of friends and have the fortune teller read everyone’s future.
Idea #4: Stir-fry Night
When my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I were dating in college, we were both very low on cash and could not afford to do anything special on Valentine’s Day. So, we created a Stir-Fry Night In. It was the perfect solution to our hungry and lack of money issues while in college. Basically what we did was run out to the grocery store and throw whatever vegetables we wanted into the basket for the night. If you have children in the family, have them go along and chose one or two items that can go into the stir-fry. Nothing is out of the question for a stir-fry, just make sure you stick in the fresh vegetable section or you could get into some issues. My five-year old niece is at the stage where everything must have marshmallows so I am sure you can understand why you must stay in the fresh produce section. If you are having a group of friends, have them each bring one or two things to throw into the stir-fry. Then, make the stir-fry and place it over some Chinese noodles or white rice. It is a great time to test your culinary skills and also have a nice dinner.
Idea #5: Scary or Non-Romantic Comedy Movie Night
Finally, it is the one day of the year that you can get your hands on those non-romantic comedies or scary movies that you have been wanting the entire year. February 14th is one of the few days of the year that almost no one wants to watch these types of movies so they are usually free on the rental shelves or available on Netflix. Rent a few movies and spend some quality time alone, a loved one, the entire family or friends. Enjoy your time at home and away from the romantic crowds hitting the streets and popular restaurants.