It’s Valentine’s Day and though I don’t consider it a major holiday or anything extraordinarily special, I always think it’s nice to celebrate by sharing a little extra love and baking something heart-shaped every February 14. I’ll be making heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast this year accompanied by strawberry smoothies. I’m sure I will enjoy the day just as much as anyone else.
But as I look through the newspapers and watch the television commercials at this time of year, I am always amazed at the growing number of silly gifts and useless merchandise that is peddled in honor of Valentines Day. Jewelry, I understand, particularly if there is an engagement, wedding or anniversary to be celebrated somewhere in the near future. Flowers I get, too. Though they don’t last and may cost a fortune, it can be awfully nice to be remembered with a burst of scent and color during this otherwise dreary time of year.
But what about the other gifts? Just because it’s either red or pink doesn’t mean it’s a suitable gift for anyone, no matter what time of year – does it? I admit I ask myself every year who all of these people are who are purchasing pink satin boxers, fluffy heart-shaped slippers, and entire place mat and napkin sets bearing the words, “Be Mine”. Is it really important to hang Valentine-themed fingertip towels in the powder room or switch out all of the household candles to glittery red ones just for this one day? And what of the ridiculously overpriced candy boxes designed to delight children, but only end in disappointment when they realize that there are only 3 individual chocolate pieces inside?
I don’t mean to sound grinchy, as I enjoy a box of milk chocolate cremes as much as the next person (and I can tell you the contents of each piece of candy without even looking at the cheat-sheet under the lid!), but I am here to say, on behalf of all of the women whose men love them enough to shop on Valentines Day – enough is enough.
Barring a beautiful pair of diamond/ruby earrings that I received several years ago and will treasure forever, here are some of the best gifts that this practical mom has ever received:
(Mother’s Day, 2006)
(Just Because, 2007)
(Stocking stuffer, 2010)
In between times, I have received many lovely gifts ranging from spa certificates, dinners out, jewelry pieces, even heart-shaped boxes of my favorite chocolate cremes. But when I look back at the practicality of these gifts and how they have served me as a busy, working homeschooling mom, it’s the other gifts I treasure most.
Weird, right? That’s the practical mom syndrome, I suppose. When faced with making choices between luxuries and things that may enhance, streamline or otherwise improve the home-life, which do YOU think practical moms want most?