All the complaints about the commercialization of Valentine’s Day may be true. It’s overhyped, a “Hallmark holiday,” and an excuse to sell overpriced flowers, chocolates, and jewelry. Still, there’s something sweet about a red and pink holiday celebrated smack dab in the middle of the winter doldrums – and a celebration of love, no less!
Valentine’s Day helps remind couples of the romantic feelings that brought them together. It’s a day to break the cycle of taking our significant other for granted and do something nice for him or her. Going out for a nice dinner together, cracking open that bottle of champagne you’d been saving, surprising him or her with fresh flowers. All these actions can signify our appreciation for the one we love.
And these forms of appreciation need not be costly. Offering a back rub, taking a long walk, or watching a favorite movie on TV together can be just as romantic as an expensive night out or a piece of jewelry. Cooking her favorite dinner or whipping up a special dessert for him are wonderful ways to say you care. Just putting down those phones and really talking to each other. There’s an idea!
I’m a sucker for greeting cards. I can spend hours in the aisles at a store perusing the selections for just the right message for the ones I love. Yes, commercial greeting cards have gotten ridiculously expensive, and many people don’t want to waste upwards of $5.00 on a piece of card stock. But exchanging valentines is still a sweet and romantic gesture. You can always swipe a card from the sets your kids are using for their classmates and pen a message of love to your loved one.
Kids have the right idea about celebrating Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day should be heavy on candy, cardboard hearts, stickers, paste and glitter. I have fond memories of addressing valentines to all of my grammar school classmates and bringing them to school in the tissue box “mailbox” I’d decorated with hearts and flowers. I made sure to choose just the right greeting for each child (nothing too mushy or romantic for the boys!).
Love in all its forms should be the focus of today. After all, it’s really a saint’s feast day. St. Valentine was known not only for bringing young lovers together but for helping the poor and downtrodden of society. So let your Valentine’s Day spirit overflow with hearts and joy and love for the people in your life. I guarantee that love will come back to you many times over.
Happy Valentine’s Day!