Nancy: Valentine’s Day Traditions

A few days ago, Michaeline gave us the best possible reminder that Valentine’s Day is coming by sharing a romantic short story with us. What I found disturbing – and admitting this could get my romance writer card pulled – is that I actually needed the reminder.

It’s safe to say it’s not a high-priority holiday in our house.

However, we sometimes enjoy a small Valentine’s Day celebration. When we remember it. And we have a few traditions on those occasions, including handmade cards and a special double chocolate dessert. No flowers (I’m allergic to nearly everything with pollen), and no dinner at a crowded restaurant (amirite, fellow introverts?). In their dating days, my daughter and now son-in-law began their tradition of celebrating every Valentine’s Day in a different city. This year’s destination: Honolulu, HI. White sand, 75°F weather, and tropical drinks. (I raised a smart kid.)

Most couples who have been together a long time develop their own Valentine’s Day traditions, even if that tradition is to ignore the day. And because I’m literally in the middle of my Victorian romance series (writing the fourth of seven books) and all things love-related seem designed to remind me I should be working on my book, of course I’ve been thinking about what traditions the heroes of the series might establish with their heroines if they were to celebrate this day of romance.

Student of poetry and hopeless romantic James Alcott will quote love poetry from the likes of Shakespeare, Keats, and Byron for his love Tessa. He’ll also compose some verses of his own to celebrate her wit and charm and beauty, and will recite these lines over a candlelit dinner accompanied by wine and chocolate. And once she’s fully under his spell, he’ll carry her off to their bed strewn with rose petals. (The couple from Too Clever by Half)

Clandestine rebel Daniel Hallsworth will take Emme to a quiet gathering at the country estate of one of England’s most venerable peers. There they will keep up the appearance of being a dignified and respectable young couple, until Daniel leads Emme to swimming pond on the property where they will skinny-dip under the stars. (The couple from One Kiss from Ruin)

Pillar of society Edward Radcliffe and his love Luci will don disguises and attend a masquerade ball where no one recognizes them. They’ll pretend they’re meeting for the first time, flirt outrageously, and slip away for a private rendezvous in a secluded corner of the garden. (The couple from Two Scandals Are Better Than One)

Fun-loving Percy will be the life of a boisterous dinner party, but he’ll be anxious to get Finola home to share a cognac and a dance under the moonlight. But he won’t want to wait that long to begin their private celebration, and is likely to seduce her on the carriage ride home. (The couple from Three Husbands and a Lover)

As for the rest of the series heroes, since they don’t yet have their love stories, their Valentine’s Day plans will have to wait until next year. In the meantime, do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? Any special plans this year?

3 thoughts on “Nancy: Valentine’s Day Traditions

  1. How exciting to see how far along you are in this series! Good job!

    To be honest, we don’t usually do much for V-day except chocolate (because we love chocolate, and it would be bad to miss a chance to celebrate chocolate). Our meeting-anniversary is on the 20th, so . . . usually more chocolate, LOL.

    Here in Japan, the tradition is for women to buy chocolates for the men in their lives — obligatory chocolates for co-workers and schoolmates, and friend-choco for girlfriends, and then something special for the special men. I recently read that men are starting to do chocolate for V-day, too (usually, in Japan, the sweets manufacturers had created a White Day for pay-back presents from men to women). Also, I read that a lot of women are buying a special treat for themselves (Yep! I always have! Gotta try ’em out before I give ’em!), and some are rejecting the obligatory chocolate-giving tradition.

    Quite frankly, I miss the days when it was all about a cheap card sent to all you knew. Obligatory, sure. But a nice reminder to be nice to everyone.

  2. Your mention of the cheap cards to all made me think of the card boxes we used to make in elementary school. I hated (and still mostly do) all things arts and crafts, but I loved turning old shoe boxes into foiled, glittered, and stickered V-Day masterpieces to receive our little cards and heart-shaped lollipops! Now I regret not doing that with my daughter, and now she’s off to Hawaii on Valentine’s Day without me. Although I will see her for Galentine’s Day, so there’s that :-).

    • (-: I remember those so fondly! To decorate them, one of my teachers had us make animals out of hearts (everything — eyes, arms, tentacles. All hearts), and now I teach Japanese kids to do that. So much fun!

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