In the western world, I feel like Valentine’s Day is one of the most controversial holidays. People either love it, enjoy it, or absolutely hate it with a very fiery passion.
On the one hand, we have those who think it’s sweet; they acknowledge the holiday, get something nice for their special person (or treat themselves, yay for single life), and are happy to see all the love surrounding the day. On another hand, we have those who take it a little overboard, as in, if you don’t celebrate this holiday you must hate love. Lastly, we have those who absolutely hate Valentine’s Day with a very fiery passion. This includes “anti-” parties, conspiracy theories about candy commercialization, accusing couples of offensive levels of affection, refusal to participate in a “cliche” holiday, or my favorite–“Why not just show your love the entire year?”
Okay, don’t get me wrong, we are all free to feel as we want about any secular holiday and if you are someone who hates Valentine’s Day, I’m probably not going to convince you otherwise. However, I will encourage you to re-evaluate why you hate it so much. (Also, if you settle at the other extreme, thinking anyone who doesn’t celebrate it hates all love, I might suggest some soul-searching for you, too).
I agree, it is a bit cliche–Hearts, love, candy, chocolate, roses, dinner, gifts, etc. The list goes on and on, and sometimes I have fun saying, “single ladies, unite!” or joking about how society sure knows how to take an important ideal and commercialize it to the max. But the sentiment is a valuable one.
Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day of the year culture as a whole has decided to “set aside” to focus on a relationship. There’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. You could even argue that other major holidays like Halloween celebrate the relationship we have with…the undead? I don’t know, that’s a little creepy. ha My point is, do you celebrate those other holidays?
Think about it, isn’t that the underlying message behind Valentine’s Day? Celebrating relationships; taking a moment to universally acknowledge and re-focus our minds and hearts on what makes our world go round. You don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to enjoy it, either. It can be as simple as a celebration of love in any of our relationships, including friends and family.
For those who are in romantic relationships, I’m happy for them. No, Valentine’s Day is definitely not the only day of the year to show love, just as Mother’s Day is not the only day to tell your mother you appreciate her, Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to be grateful, Birthdays are not the only time to tell someone you’re happy they were born, and so on.
I’ll end with giving an example of what I mean. I have always had the utmost respect for my parents and am blessed with a great dad. I hope one day there will be a man who treats me the way he treats my mom. Every Valentine’s Day, I remember him giving my mom a single rose and a card. Some years there’s more, but there’s always those two simple things. It’s a sweet reminder and acknowledgement of the holiday. My dad could afford to give my mom more than just one rose and a card, but that’s not the point, and it’s not the only time he shows her he loves her. That’s why it’s one of the most romantic gestures…goodness, I love them.
A little over a week ago, I was asked to create something for an art auction coming up next week. With Valentine’s Day so soon, I decided to create a wreath. Personally, I don’t like bright red, bright pink, sparkles, sequins, or anything related to those things. Instead, I prefer soft colors, corals, light pinks and cream, wood, and greenery. I walked through Michaels looking for items on sale and browsing my favorite area, the floral section, and put together this bouquet of complimentary colors and textures. Seriously, this is one of my favorite combinations!
I absolutely loved the wreath before adding the burlap ribbon and the little hanging heart, but, something told me to add those two final details for the purpose of the art auction this wreath is meant for.
The process of creating a wreath is very trial and error. The grapevine branches are already shaped and provide an anchor for the florals. I simply start by clipping the florals into single stems long enough to bend and stick into the branches. Before hot glueing them in place, I play around with where to place them on the wreath until I’m satisfied with the look.
With this wreath, I started on the right side of the ring and bent all the florals toward the left. The most dense area of the wreath is at the bottom left. Another option is to evenly distribute the florals around the entire wreath. I like leaving a section of the branches exposed just because I like the way the wood looks with the florals. Also, the little heart is painted with chalk paint in case someone would like to write on it.
Tip: Start thin on one side, bend all the stems in the opposite direction, and create one area that’s slightly denser than the rest, to give the eyes a place to land.