Finally the most romantic holiday of the year is upon us, a time for females to declare their love by painstakingly working in the kitchen to make chocolate treats for a special someone. Ladies don’t forget your friends: whether you make them or buy them, tomo-chocolates are a must - friends before the mens. Oh yeah, you’d also better get that wallet out, those obligatory chocolates for your boss and the males at your office aren’t going to buy themselves. Ah, it’s all so romantic!
Sorry, but there isn't much that's romantic about Valentine’s Day in Japan. Which is why when I asked the members of AFWJ for their recipes for romance on Valentine’s Day, it was met with a collective snort of derision from around Japan and beyond. However, members did share with me was some fun ways to celebrate the holiday in spite of how unromantic it is in Japan. As a bonus I heard how some of our more amorous members keep the romance alive all year long.
What AFWJ members had to say about Valentine’s Day:
I love myself, so I shall go out soon and buy myself some fancy Chocolates.
DH is aware of what Valentine's Day is and has given me flowers a few times. In the first few years of being married and living in Japan, he would give me the giri-choco he received at the office.
It's turned into chocolate day for us. For a while I would make special chocolate desserts on that day for the whole family.
I take the opportunity to buy the large portions of baking and candy-making chocolate that is available this time of year!
I usually do something special on this day for us. In the past few years I've made Tiramisu, which is one of his favorites.
He might get me chocolate or a rose, depending on the workload of the day. I don’t get him anything, usually, he doesn’t like chocolate anyway. Of course I will get myself some chocolate - that’s beyond question!
I usually just get him a bit of chocolate and he gives me flowers. Took a lot of educating to get him to realise that giving me something romantic would be in his best interests! And for about the last 10 years, we try to go out for a date on or near Valentine's Day. I think that's our nicest custom--enjoying time out with your partner.
Do you count buying the yummiest chocolates for your DH? But the reason is because you actually want to eat half of them yourself, because your DH won't give you anything on *White Day* and you prefer chocco to candy or cookies - the usual White Day stuff.
*White Day is on March 14th and men are supposed to return the favours they received on Valentine’s Day to the females in their life.*
For years I bought novelty chocolates for DH and the kids. Now my darling and I buy small chocolate treats for each other.
How AFWJ members keep the romance alive year-round:
We don’t do Valentine’s Day, BUT it’s a year-round lovefest of friendship, respect and giggles. I know that sounds corny, but that’s what we do. ❤️
When the kids were little we couldn't go out for dates or away together so we subscribed to a monthly wine club that was not so expensive. After the kids were in bed we drank and dreamed together about our future. When the kids got older, and we had a bit more freedom to go out together, most of our "dates" still revolved around food we ate at home. My husband cooks a very nice steak and I make his favorite desserts. I was inspired by a wonderful book called, "Date Night In". It's about nourishing your relationship through food, especially when your kids are little and you can't go out easily. Now we have just one year to go before we are empty nesters and we are making our plans for travel and some more traditional dates, but I still look back on our efforts to carve out a little special time for one another with fondness.
We actually hold hands in public, and we always say "I love you" before we go to sleep.
Awwww, doesn’t that just warm your heart on a cold February day? I hope so! I wish I could share my own stories of romance with you, but alas my husband and I are pretty lame. We do laugh a lot all year long and I’ll take that over one day of gift-giving anytime. We at AFWJ hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day no matter how you choose to celebrate it...
...but don’t forget the good chocolate will be gone from the stores soon!