Forced Paganism

There has been a lot of talk these days about pagan holidays. Some people love to put down Christmas and Easter as pagan feasts. Others seen Halloween as the queen of pagan holidays. To me, the most insidious of them all is Valentines day. The holiday of “love” seems to me to have a forced observance. It is collusion between the flower growers, candy makers, Jewelers, restaurants, bakers and greeting card companies. If you don’t celebrate this forced holiday, you better plan on sleeping on the couch for a while, because women consider this one of the high holy days of humanity. If you don’t spend significant bucks, its like saying you don’t love her enough to deserve her, and if you don’t pay one way, you will wind up paying in another way.

It’s not a matter of spending money. I love my wife and am happy to treat her special any time I can. I love taking her to nice restaurants, buying her nice things and expressing my affection to her anytime I am able. I just don’t like being told that I HAVE TO do it on Valentines day because everyone else is doing it at that time. Its like having to make a pagan sacrifice to the demon cupid. What makes this holiday even worse, is that most men don’t have the male fortitude to talk about this for fear of their wives or girlfriends.

My wife lost all sense of romance when I suggested this was a pagan observance. Even when I offered to make her a heart-shaped meatloaf with a loving message inscribed in ketchup, she was not swayed by this token of my affection. I thought it was romantic and creative. This is a sure sign of the pagan influence. Is it just me, or is something else going on here?

The Holy Scriptures instruct us, “Husbands, Love your wives…” This isn’t about chocolate, flowers and jewelry. It’s about treating her special every day of the year. It’s about being kind and considerate, and seeking her good, every day. If you are really doing that, then the other stuff is just fluff, and should be a continuation of the specialness you express all the time. If you aren’t doing that, and Valentines day becomes the one day you treat her special, then something is more seriously wrong. If you are griping about Valentines day like I am, you had better be sure that you really are treating your wife or girlfriend special all the time, or you need to make some serious adjustments to your behavior.

I for one, will not be lassoed into having to put out for Valentines day. I will be taking my wife to Tin City, Florida where we will do some shopping, have a nice lunch and maybe get her some stuff she likes not because its Valentines day, but because I love her and she puts up with me. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. The rest of you are on your own.


15 thoughts on “Forced Paganism

  1. Dr. Schiffman,

    By far the best part of your post is:

    “My wife lost all sense of romance … when I offered to make her a heart-shaped meatloaf with a loving message inscribed in ketchup, she was not swayed by this token of my affection.”

    LOL … love it!

  2. well,
    I’ll be going out w/ Monica on Monday night. haha
    But you’re point is not lost on me. To simply relinquinsh the responsibility to show “love” to the “the flower growers, candy makers, Jewelers, restaurants, bakers and greeting card companies” on this one particular day is a no go.

    “and she puts up with me. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.”

    bingo =-)

  3. Our anniversary is in early January, so our first Valentine’s Day occurred when we were newlyweds of less than 2 months. Every day was about expressing how much we loved one another, so why did we need to figure out how to do something special for this holiday. We decided we didn’t and we haven’t celebrated this day once since (25+ years and counting).

    Sorry for the rest of you gentlemen whose wives aren’t as reasonable as I am.

    • Melinda… do you really think thats a fair analogy? I don’t feel that way about mother’s day or father’s day, but those are simply days of appreciation… no more, no less. The marketing and emotional blackmail of those two days put together doesn’t come close to the hype and marketing of valentines day… I am genuinely sentimental, but valentines day seems too contrived for me to be emotionally invested.

  4. I don’t know what to say here, but I’m going to say it anyway.

    I resent every single holiday contrived by Hallmark, Hershey, and their competitors. Valentines Day is but one of a whole family of guilt trips they have contrived in order to extort money from me. My wife, however, is not in agreement. She is a sentimental sweetie-pie, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to get close with me.

    In 1971, I went to G. Fox & Co in Hartford, CT, (long since defunct) and bought her a velvet-covered heat shaped box of Godiva Chocolates. It cost me about 30 bucks even back then. Every year since then, she has received the very same box of Godiva chocolates. I get it refilled, and the Godive people are quite impressed. Two years ago, they took my photo for their newsletter.

    Rabbi, you are absolutely right, but sometimes we have to pick our battles. I value my life quite a lot, and I don’t like the couch for sleeping.

  5. For 40 now, every Valentine’s day I give my wife the same card. It says: You deserve more than a cardl, so you can keep the envelope too. I hope by now she got the message…..

      • Good grief! Besides candy, cards and flowers, I’m sure that must include a nice dinner out. We did that for years, but now we’ve given it up. The way the restaurants are crowded, and they won’t take an honest reservation, it just isn’t worth the aggravation.

        We’ll enjoy a couple of barbecued rib eyes, asparagus, some special wine, and ice cream for dessert, all of which I will fix, AND I will clean up afterward. Maybe even some candlelight. It’s a lot more cozy, and a fraction of the price.

        Sorry, restaurants, but you did it to yourselves by your dishonesty about reservations. You’re not going to spoil any more special occasions for us.

  6. Well said.
    Love is an action that we are to show on a daily basis, not always in things we can buy, but in intimate moments that are shared between two people. For example, as silly as it may sound, getting a cup of coffee when one’s not expecting it or just being there to lend a listening ear. Sure presents are nice and appreciated, but when it’s all said and done and the flowers wilt, jewerly is lost and candy has all be eaten,and at the end of the day when all tangible things are gone and when all is left is the heartfelt actions shown throughout ones day spent showing the other how much you really do love and honor them thats what it’s all about.

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