Valentine’s Day gets a lot of grief for being a money-making “Hallmark Holiday”. I disagree. Yes, it can be ruined with people flaunting their perfect relationships, too many typical roses and CVS teddy bears and trying to impress your date with the “perfect” evening. But I think those people go about Valentine’s Day totally wrong.
I simply look at is as a day to celebrate love. Of all types. And in the depths of a cold bitter winter, why should we shake our heads to a day set aside to celebrate the warmth of all the love we can find in our hearts and our world?
There’s always room for a little extra love! No matter what stage I was at, I made time to pause and to celebrate:
As a child my parents always made Valentine’s special at home. My mom was a first grade teacher, so she always brought home her classroom traditions, songs, crafts, and all around cheerfulness and added it to our home. There always special little gifts and treats and hugs.
In high school, when my best friend Kay and I always found ourselves perpetually single and bitter, we made up Weezer Day (in honor of our favorite band). We made special Weezertines for each other, blasted music, went out for dinner and generally celebrated ourselves and our love for Rivers and his gang. One year we branched out to also celebrate emo band Saves the Day, complete with making a Saves the Day Lamp. The base was a precious moments like girl saying “Boys Make Me Cry” (a treasure we found at Goodwill). We then decorated the lamp shade with our favorite lyrics and band photos. (um is it a surprise we were single?) We still wish each other a happy Weezer Day even as we find ourselves in our thirties and married.
Later in high school and college I’d find myself either single or in a relationship, but I don’t really remember many of my relationship celebrations, other than a poetry reading one year. Usually it was always me and my girlfriends having an extra excuse to share some drinks on a random night and noting how happy we were to have each other.
When I found myself single in the second half of my twenties, my other single girlfriends and I would always get together for the weekend that was around Valentine’s day. We’d look at it as a reason to get all dressed up and go out on the town. We’d gather together from our various states and make the weekend awesome.
Since being with Ryan, we celebrate in a quiet way. Either making a fancy dinner at home and cuddling up to a romantic movie or going out for a low-key dinner. Champagne is always involved. Chocolate is always involved. And notes of love is always involved. How can you roll your eyes at champagne, chocolate, and expressing your love? I feel like we could all use more of that.
This year, when Valentine’s Day is actually on a Saturday, I find it ironic that Ryan and I will be celebrating it apart. He is currently in New York City competing in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. I’m very proud of him and he should be home on Sunday. Wish him luck!
I his absence I’ll be surviving the negative temps and going to lunch and a movie with a good friend followed my a crab cake dinner with my parents and Pop-Pop. Extra special activities with those I love! Ryan and I will do something together on Sunday, maybe just take out, if we can’t bear to go outside on what forecasters are predicting to be the coldest day of the year.
Valentine’s Day is simply an excuse to celebrate with those you love, whether it be family, friends, a partner, or your pets. It’s a way to pause from the routine and remember to be grateful for the love that is in your life. It comes in all shapes and sizes.
How do you celebrate?