When Yahoo requested articles with an anti-Valentine's Day theme recently, I felt right at home. Why? Because for about 10 years, I hosted an Anti-Valentine's Day party for my single friends and my church singles group! For that reason I feel HIGHLY qualified to share some tips on celebrating an Anti-Valentine's Day!
THROW A PARTY
The first thing you need to remember is that there are a lot of people at loose ends on Valentine's Day! Why mope around feeling lonely when you could make the day more fun for yourself and for others? I used to open up my condo for my friends and tell them to bring munchies, bring movies, bring games but to NOT bring a date! I also made my friends wear their tackiest pink and red clothes, and the tackiest outfit would win first prize. That way instead of feeling self conscious about not having a date on Valentine's Day, my guests were rewarded for not having dates and for arriving in their "I don't care" finest.
I had games in one room and movies in another and food everywhere. We ate, played games, watched movies, and many people ended up in the hallway and kitchen just hanging out. Usually I decorated, deliberately overdoing it so the Valentine's Day hearts, flowers and cupids became funny instead of romantic. Valentine's cards, balloons, streamers and art would be strewn EVERYWHERE, the more ridiculous, the better. One year I even left my Christmas tree up and redecorated it with Valentine's ornaments, including a string of twinkling lights shaped like hearts.
The first time I did this, the party (which was non-alcoholic for the record), lasted all night, and we ate breakfast together before everyone went home the next day. This annual anti-Valentine's Day tradition actually became something of a small "event" in Nashville, enough so that the Nashville paper carried it as the lead story one year!
HAVE A GIRL'S NIGHT OUT
If you are a gal and don't feel like a party, grab some of your single friends and go to dinner and a movie. Movies and dinner are not just for couples! The best movies for an anti-Valentines celebration are comedy and adventure - no romance! After dinner, if you have a suitable mall or downtown area near you, go walk with your friends and window shop. The exercise and fellowship will be good for you! Check your local community calendar for other ideas of fun things to do on Valentine's night.
HAVE A GUY'S NIGHT OUT
You men can use the night for some healthy male bonding. Catch a hockey game or other sporting event, or do like the ladies, and go have dinner and a movie with your buddies. Avoid romance flicks and go for adventure or comedy, Don't sit at home alone -- initiate something with your friends.
VISIT A NURSING HOME OR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
You think you are lonely? Visit a nursing home. Get some of your friends from work or church to go to a nursing home and sing old love songs popular in the 1930s and 1940s, such as "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "Bicycle Built for Two." Get some cookies and soft drinks, or cake and punch, and make some of our senior citizens happy. They are lonely on Valentines Day, too, and you will feel much better for having helped others.
The same kinds of activities with some changes would also work for a children's hospital. Maybe the cake and punch wouldn't work in a hospital setting, and the song selections would definitely have to be different, but find out what would work and go make some kids smile.
DO SOMETHING FUN AT HOME
If you can't find anyone to do something with, buy that book you've been meaning to read or rent that movie you've been wanting to see. Treat yourself to a favorite dinner or moderate snack. Don't drown your sorrows in food or drink - find something uplifting to read or watch. Comedy, adventure and inspiration are the ticket - nothing romantic. Play some favorite music, anything that will be relaxing or cheerful, avoiding love songs. If you are bound and determined to listen to romantic music on Valentine's Day, however, check out my Top Ten Christian Love Songs!
Valentine's Day is just a day, and for many, it is no big deal, but if you are already dreading it or have felt lonely in the past, get pro-active and plan something. Involve your friends in some fun or charity and avoid the romantic connotations and trappings entirely, or do like I did and pile on so many hearts and flowers, it becomes funny. It's a month before Valentine's Day - make some plans! Whatever you do, have a Happy Anti-Valentines Day!
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