A married couple skips presents for each other, and sends something sweet to their mothers instead.
In 2009, on their first Valentine’s Day as a couple, Melanie and Larry went to a Ne-Yo concert and had a romantic dinner. It was the last time they celebrated the day in a traditional manner, with gifts exchanged and a special date planned. “We both agreed it’s too expensive, and we prefer to place emphasis on expressing our love daily, versus on one day in February,” Melanie says.
So for the past 10 years, instead of spending time and money on gifts for each other on Valentine’s Day, Melanie and Larry, now married and settled in Brooklyn, N.Y., have used the holiday to show their moms how much they are loved.
Every Feb. 14, they send a bouquet of flowers to their mothers. “Partially, it’s because we know that our dads don’t do it!” says Melanie. “But mostly, it’s because we love our moms every day, but don’t say it enough. We use Valentine’s Day to make them feel exceptional. We celebrate our mothers on a day when the whole world is talking about romantic love.”
The first year Melanie and Larry sent their mothers a Valentine’s Day surprise to thank them for all that they do, their moms were thrilled. “The florist we use is a family-owned business in Brooklyn,” Melanie says. “It’s where we got our wedding flowers, including corsages.” Now that the flowers are an annual tradition, Melanie and Larry look forward to seeing the photos of the bouquets in their family group texts.
And while they don’t do anything special on Valentine’s Day for themselves, the couple usually plans a winter getaway around the same time. They’ve visited Brazil, South Africa, Jamaica, and Mexico together. “We prefer to spend our money on experiences and making memories instead of on something like a box of chocolates that are gone as soon as they’re finished,” Melanie says.
When Melanie’s mom passed away a few years ago, Melanie decided she would continue the tradition. “Even with my mom gone, we still buy flowers to adorn her gravestone every Valentine’s Day,” she says. “When everyone else at work wants to sneak out early for their Valentine’s Day dates and dinners, I’m the only one that asks to come in later, so I can visit my mom. I can’t imagine discontinuing this tradition any time soon.”