Valentine’s Day

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I never gave that much weight to Valentine’s Day.

I think it’s sweet, really. A whole day devoted to externally expressing your love for the people around you.

Growing up, my parents always gave us Valentine’s Day presents, like the coffee mug covered in pink and red hearts I’m drinking out of this morning. Usually carnations or a large bag of almond M&M’s sat on my nightstand when I woke up. As I matured, the tradition felt cheesey, but it always made me feel special. Other than them, I never had a big romantic, head-over-heels valentine that you expect each February 14th.

But for being a day all about love, it sure is hated. You see more events and statuses about boycotting today than embracing it.

Sure, it’s a corporate holiday. This is America. Columbus day is a corporate holiday. We just like buying stuff.

But when there is a day set aside to wear green and drink and a day to dress up in costumes and eat copious amounts of chocolate, I think we can make room for a day all about love.

I read an article years ago about a couple who said one of their secrets to marriage and life was to celebrate everything. She emphasized everything. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays of course, but also three day weekends, finished projects at work, good scores on tests, promotions. Anything that creates joy deserves recognition.

Last year as a precursor to Valentine’s, some friends and I celebrated “Lonely Hearts Club.” We didn’t hate on Valentine’s Day or bemoan our plight to suffer through single life. Instead, my friend Meredith and I made sugar cookies and homemade Valentine’s Day cards out of construction paper, the way that you did when you were seven. We gave them to our closest, single guy friends to tell them how wonderful they are. (That story ends with an engagement 10 months later).

Somewhere in the mix of pink tissue paper and red roses, Valentine’s Day is just another day to turn into a celebration of the lives around us. 

Think about the people who give you joy each day. Celebrate them today.