Surviving Valentine’s Day

626px-megafobia_oakwood_theme_parkMOST PEOPLE think Valentine’s Day is a holiday for couples. Shops are full of ‘things for her’ and ‘gifts for him’ and appear to have hired Barbie to decorate with red and pink love hearts covering every surface. There is so much pressure to ‘have someone’ to spend Valentine’s with and then to get that someone a lavish bouquet of flowers, go for a romantic meal and hire a quartet to sing to them. Like many other holidays I think its original meaning has been lost due to so much commercialism.

Valentine’s is not a holiday solely for couples to celebrate; it is a holiday to show those you love how much you love them. So if you don’t have ‘someone’ this year, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day with your best friends? I’m here to suggest a few ideas for celebrating Valentine’s with your friends regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not, and no doubt it can be just as much fun, if not more. But to all the couples out there, keep the PDA to a minimum if you’re spending the holiday with friends.

One of the most fun and hassle-free ways to spend a holiday (or any day really…) is with a movie marathon. You can keep to the Valentine’s theme and watch a collection of romantic comedies with A-List hotties or go in the opposite direction and gather your favourite horror or action films. Cook a delicious meal, grab some wine, bake some cakes, pamper yourselves with manicures and pedicures and have a relaxing evening. You can’t go wrong!

However, if a movie marathon is something you do quite often, why not go out for a few drinks or even a meal with a group of friends? If you want to avoid a restaurant covered in all things Valentine’s, it’s probably going to be difficult and it’s likely that there will be pink confetti scattered across the table and Michael Bublé playing in the background. But hey, you’re out for a romantic meal with those who helped you get home the previous weekend after you had a few too many vodkas, so embrace the loving atmosphere.

If you want to spread the love some more you could organise a secret admirer gift swap. Place everyone’s name in a bowl and take turns to choose one by one and get each other funny presents (basically Secret Santa for Valentine’s Day). Set a small budget or even a time frame within which everyone must adhere to for a more interesting set of gifts. Or go one step further and buy a few cheap cards and hand them out to people around campus or town and make a stranger’s Valentine’s Day a little bit brighter.

Then again, if you want to avoid all things Valentine’s, get your friends together and go on trip for the weekend. Go camping; visit friends in another town; check out a concert; head to a theme park; or, if the weather is permitting, try out an outdoor activity centre with zorbing and zip-lining. You’ll have plenty of fun and dodge those extravagant decorations if Valentine’s is not your kind of holiday.