Too Mutch

...a safe place to dance with ideas, play with theology, and re-create a life implicated by God

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Sneaky Holiday

It’s “sneaky” because…

All of a sudden, out of the blue, when you least expected it—there it is. IN YOUR FACE. Pressure. Celebrate me, it demands. Be creative and smart and…well…you should be a little sneaky too. White lies don’t count when you are surprising someone, but you better hope they aren’t trying to surprise you too. Otherwise, all the hard work, lying and sneakiness will be for naught. Let’s make this easier. Let’s give ALL the responsibility for surprise, for creativity, and for unforgettable romance to the gender that usually gets blindsided by this holiday. Great idea. Then, he can use his impromptu “sneakiness” as a cover for completely forgetting this national Holiday.

Thank You, Hallmark, for Valentine’s Day. (pause to remove tongue from cheek)
[image taken from]

About a week ago, my Valentine (of 9 yrs) says, “I had an idea for Valentine’s Day.” I immediately thought, “uhhhhh, it isn’t even February yet.” Some people, such as my wife, take most of the mysterious sneakiness out of life—they love to plan! Nevertheless, I’m baled out here. She’s got a plan. I’m sure it’s a great plan. I’ll luuuuuuuuvvvvvvv it. And, well, she did have a good plan. We’d go out for a nice dinner with a generous gift certificate we had received, we’d eat slow and talk a lot, and yada yada yada, we’d have a great night together, just the two of us.

That got me thinking. What in the world are we doing with this Hallmark holiday? Besides dropping some serious loot on cards, candy, dinners, movies, trips, jewelry (don’t get me started on Blood Diamond), lingerie, etc.? Is this a responsible use of our money and time? Is it justifiable? Even if it is justifiable (we do, after all, need more date nights), is it best, wise, generous, revolutionary, etc.? Is this holiday marked more by generous love or by capitalistic consumption? We can’t even say we are doing it in the name of religion—unless your religion is Reaganomics. All we’ve got is a contrived holiday that drives a night of romance for some…while some long for a touch or a connection or a meaningful conversation with a partner…while others meekly long for something as simple as a meal or a blanket. Like I said…it got me thinking…

So I ventured into somewhat dangerous territory—challenging the romantic plans of your spouse (though it isn’t so dangerous when you’ve got a remarkable wife). “What if,” I say, “we did something a little different this year? Could we be creatively subversive? Do something that demonstrates the kingdom we are residents of?” No pots flying at my head. No cold shoulder. Not much of a response at all. She just absorbed it. I could tell she was caught a bit off guard, but not feeling hurt or offended or overlooked. She just likes to chew on things. So she chewed for a few days…

Then she came up with a brilliant idea that we are now dialoguing about…massaging…working on. She suggested that we invite all of our single friends and family over to the house...bake lots of cookies together…then go downtown to hand them out to folks who need to be reminded that they are LOVED greatly. That is our (mostly Christine’s) subversive Valentine’s Day idea. Will we change the world? Not much of it, but maybe a bit of it. Will we cripple the industries that feed off of these kinds of holidays? Nope. Will we be more whole, integrated and shalomic? I think so.

Here’s to being less sneaky and more shalomic…Happy Valentine’s Day!

What will you do?

Got any other subversive ideas?

Post your ideas and what you decide to do here.

Inspire us…


At 9:29 PM, Blogger diane said...

I'm quite sure I'm the only "single family" you have in W. MI. Thanks for the shout out. :)

Here's my thoughts:
-I don't live in Grand Rapids.
-I am not homeless.
-I do like cookies. A lot.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Greg said...

well, diane, you very well might be the only single family in West MI. But my sister is also single, so let's not count her out just because she lives in Texas.

I was aware that you are not living in GR, nor are you homeless. But I'm missing your point???

At 8:36 AM, Blogger diane said...

I like cookies. And even though I don't live in the general area where you plan to disperse said cookies...well...I'd still like one.

Your poor sister. She's single AND she has to live in Texas. :)

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous dl said...

As I wait for more subversive ideas to appear on your blog, I'll share mine (although I don't consider it very subversive). Matt and I are going to a Fundraising dinner to benefit the children of the Holland area. We're raising money for the Holland Junior Welfare League. Not very counter-cultural b/c we get to enjoy a really nice evening w/ dinner and dancing. Still it is something...dl

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Greg said...

dl--don't sell yourself short. Being subversive doesn't mean you don't get to enjoy some nice things! It isn't completely about denial. You are going to raise money for a good cause when you could be going out and spending a couple of hundred bucks on yourselves for a nice dinner, wine, dessert, flowers and the like. This is good. Maybe valentine's day is a good occasion to raise money via dinner and dancing benefits! It could catch on!


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