Valentine’s Day: Hallmark Holiday, Black Friday or….A New Approach?

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fbrelationshipstatusBy Meghan Kelly

Relationship status tends to be the overriding factor in determining how we feel about Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure if Facebook is to blame, but now that everyone’s “status” is public knowledge, the correlation seems to have increased.

If you are in a relationship when V-Day hits, you might grumble, “this is a Hallmark holiday” and turn into the Valentine’s Day equivalent of the Grinch. The pressure to express your deep and abiding love in one day with mountains of merchandise is overwhelming, so you just end up boycotting the day altogether. On the flip side, if you are not in a relationship, you boycott the day right from the start. Burdened by the scarlet S on your forehead, you might suffer through the day by banning together with other singles like soldiers in a foxhole, don black and scowl at anyone holding hands, kissing or sharing a loving gaze.

Maybe this year, a different approach is in order. One that is independent of your relationship status. Instead of insurmountable pressure or intolerance for any display of affection, we would like to suggest a new approach to Cupid’s festival with the following Valentine’s Day activities and, hopefully, inspire a love revolution.

spreadtheloveDinner Date:  Invite an elderly lady or gentleman out to dinner or offer to cook if they are unable to venture out of the house. I think you’ll find the absence of electronic devices and the abundance of rich, heartwarming, ‘days of old’ stories a welcome departure from the over-stimulated, over-merchandised, chaos of today. Who knows, you might just make it a monthly occurrence. Need a few dinner ideas? We would like to suggest Amani’s BYOB, Ron’s Original Bar & Grille, Mas Mexicali Cantina, Side Bar & Restaurant, Barnaby’s, Teca Restaurant & Wine Bar and The Orangery BYOB.

judysflowersSend Flowers:  The scene occurs every year and in most romantic comedies – the man stands dumbfounded in the middle of the flower shop mulling over which flowers to pick. What kind of message will lilies send? Don’t yellow roses signify friendship? This year, pick any arrangement you want and send it to a complete stranger. He or she will be happy with whatever you choose and probably talk about how those flowers brightened their day for months to come. Go see Judy at Flowers by the Greenery and while you are ordering flowers, make sure to ask about SophiaJam. Want to send sweets instead of flowers? Stop by Cakes and Candies by Maryellen.

Blind Date:  Your friends and family have the best intentions and just want you to be happy. You, on the other hand, just fret, dread and sweat nervously through the experience. How about trying a blind date with a twist this year? Volunteer at one of our local hospitals, maybe in the children’s or cancer ward. Bring a few games to play or just a smile. It will be the best blind date you ever went on.

Shop till You Drop:  Starting around Thanksgiving each year, the holidays inspire us to give to those less fortunate by donating food, coats and other items. However, after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, so does the amount of donations to food banks, Goodwill, churches and other organizations. This year, instead of purchasing piles of imported pink plastic junk; shop till you drop for items that will change the lives of people in our community. Click Here to visit the Chester County Food Bank. No one should go hungry.

LadyKellySnugglefest:  Need a hug? So do our four-legged friends. Make a commitment to fill out a volunteer application for the Chester County SPCA or stop by a local pet store to have a little fun with our furry friends. You might even consider taking a friend home to snuggle for life. Already have a pet? Share the love with someone who needs a cuddle by bringing your dog or cat to a neighbor, family member or really anyone who needs a little pet therapy.

Spa Day: When I think of the people that I would most likely run into at a spa, the Kardashians, et all of the reality star persuasion, come to mind. Sadly, the people that probably need a wonderful, relaxing spa day do not come to mind – firemen, police, teachers, and volunteers. I’m sure you can think of a person in your life that constantly gives, gives, gives without ever asking for anything in return and never takes a minute for themselves. A gift certificate is a good idea, but to make sure they actually use it and not give it to someone else, I propose politely kidnapping them for a little spa time. Don’t kid yourself, men like mani/pedi’s too. La Difference Salon & Day Spa, Evolution Salon, Capella’s Studio and Currie Salon and Day Spa all make for excellent choices.

The Chester County Coup d’etat: We would be hypocrites if we asked you to spread the love and did not do so ourselves. That is why we have arranged a Day of Chester County Pleasures for a woman who definitely deserves to be treated like a queen for the day – our “mommy blogger” Jen Worthington-Lower. Jen works full-time, is a mother of three, and probably hasn’t sat down to rest in 6 years. Her husband is part of the military and a student at West Chester University. We are continually inspired by how much Jen gives back to the community so we knew it was time to give back to her.

LowerFamPicThis Saturday, Jen will begin her day by indulging in top-notched services from Currie Salon and Day Spa. After a quick bite at Red Sombrero, Jen will head next door to Clothes Mentor for a makeover! I can’t wait to see the before and after pictures. Then, the babysitter arrives and it is time for date night! (Jen and her husband have not been on a date in over 6 months.) They will head to Downingtown and snuggle up for a romantic dinner at The Orangery where Chef Sabrina will create an incredible four-course feast. The cherry on the cake? Doug Smith, our new wine blogger, will provide the wine pairing. One of Jen’s favorite things in life is wine but she rarely gets to enjoy grownup grape juice. You can follow Jen on her adventure on our Instagram (chestercountypa) or signup for Jen’s blog and read all about her day in her next post.

I guess by now you have the idea. “It’s easier to take than to give. It’s nobler to give than to take. The thrill of taking lasts a day. The thrill of giving lasts a lifetime.”

― Joan Marques


STill need more Valentine’s Day ideas? Well, check out these too! Click the links below to visit our event calendar.

Romance in the Dance (Black tie optional) Fundraiser

Faunbrook Bed & Breakfast Romantic Getaway

Longwood Gardens Orchid Extravaganza

West Chester WinterFest

2nd Annual Kennett Square Chocolate Lovers Festival

WCU Live! Presents “Black Violin”

Meghan Kelly

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