Ah the patron Saint Valentine is drawing his arrow once again. Every year restaurants book up, red cellophane heart boxes of chocolate abound, and the post office gets inundated with red and pink enveloped Valentines for loved ones afar. Some people love it. They plan the whole day out in advance and wallow in all of Valentine’s Day’s romantic glory. Others could do without the entire thing. These folks consider the holiday the work of marketing geniuses.
Whatever your stance, in our 50s and beyond, the holiday takes on a new hue. At our age, do you really want to receive a teddy bear? Or shiny helium balloons? And aren’t you supposed to be watching your health? The last thing you need is a box of chocolate caramels (because you will eat them all). It makes one wonder, are we too old for Valentine’s Day?
Many people purposely shun the holiday. They will wear black. They will pack their lunch to work, and dinner is left overs. Some will even go so far as to buy flowers the day before Valentine’s Day, just to make a point that they aren’t celebrating the actual day (a way to appease your partner who may be expecting some romance). The day, they believe, is a consumer holiday existing only to ramp up post-December holiday sales. Florists, bakeries, candy companies, and restaurants all win big for Valentine’s Day, all in the name of proving your love.
Other people associate the holiday with misery. The Valentine that never came, the bad date, the no date, the lonely night all alone that was not by choice. The poor romantics who could not indulge find this day a disappointment. As a result, they, too, hate the holiday.
Finally, some feel that every day should be a day of romance and it being forced by way of a dozen long stemmed roses is ridiculous. Being told to be romantic in some ways lessens the effect.
These souls can comfortably sit Valentine’s Day out and be just fine, regardless of age.
Gifting The Hopeless Romantic
Other people can’t shake the romance. There are men and women in their 60s who still hope for a secret admirer to unleash themselves on the day of love. Some couples embrace the day with traditions, so gifts aren’t the issue, really. With this method of celebration, couples experience something more thoughtful than a musical pop-up Snoopy card.
Think of a taking a vacation, which is a nice way to avoid the shopping mall aspect of the holiday, but still engage in something very romantic. It can be to an exotic island, or even just a cabin in the woods, don’t feel the need to measure your love with dollars. Other ideas are magazine subscriptions, gloves, and flowers, of course, but also a beautiful plant that can last year-round might be a more permanent solution. Gift cards to favorite venues is a thoughtful choice, as are tickets to events such as a musical performance, a sports game, a play, or even a movie. Lifestyle gifts are nice, such as a spa day or a round of golf at a fancy course, as is a favorite bottle of wine or liquor.
Valentine’s Day is always a little awkward when you’re in a new relationship. The question of what to gift, if you should even gift at all, is a tricky one. Consider something like a book of poems, or even a book that relates to a conversation you’ve previously had. A scarf is a nice idea for a woman, and can be found affordably and isn’t too flashy. Flowers are okay at a certain stage, and if you really like her, include a vase. Men like flowers, too! If you’re still not sure what to do, make it an experience day, such as going to an art exhibit, or the botanic gardens, or an evening together at your house, where you make him or her a delicious meal. This takes the pressure off the present aspect, and it doesn’t feel too over whelming, as is the case at a restaurant in which everyone is celebrating.
Valentine’s Day may seem a little hokey or juvenile at our age, but you can still heat up the romance after 50, just do it in a mature but fun way. The nice thing about getting older is that you can appreciate your loved one without feeling like you have to prove it now. So embrace the day, even if it means watching television in your pajamas.