I've always disliked Valentine's Day, simply based on principle. Sure, when I was younger I enjoyed it - but receiving a Valentine and gobs of candy from each of my classmates in our hand-crafted "mailboxes" was so exciting! In high school my appreciation for it dwindled, not because I was single (but really, isn't everyone single in high school? Not to be bitter, but in my experience and from what I've witnessed, these days most high school relationships end up in the toilet even before they're actually relationships...but we can talk about that some other time), but because it seemed silly to me that there was one day a year when it's essentially required to express your love for the important people in your life.
It seems that I've always managed to get around Valentine's Day simply by saying I think it's silly and stupid and I don't like it. And it is silly. And it is stupid. And I know I don't like it, but that doesn't mean I hate it.
Is it silly that there is a specific day of the year where we're supposed to give chocolates, flowers and cards to show our love? Yes. But is it a nice break from the regular, plain ol' days with people? Yes.
My guess is that a lot of people who choose to celebrate Valentine's Day do so because they already celebrate love every other day of the year.
And isn't that kind of nice?
Having a special day with sweet treats and surprises really isn't anything I can turn my nose up at. And think about it - isn't have a special day all part of the fun?
On Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ - but I celebrate that every day through prayer, every Sunday at church, every time I read my Bible.
On Thanksgiving we celebrate all we are thankful for - but I celebrate that every day through time with friends and family, feeling blessed for things in my life like food and a roof over my head, remembering to enjoy the small things.
On Independence Day we celebrate our country and its freedom - but we celebrate that every day by enjoying all the rights and privileges we have simply by living in the United States.
On our birthdays we celebrate our coming into the world - but I celebrate that every day when I marvel at all the wonderful people in my life and know that they all had to get here somehow.
I guess what I'm saying is that while we may celebrate every day, even though we don't necessarily recognize it. So what's wrong with taking a little extra time to recognize something that's also worth celebrating - love?
While Hallmark tends to make it all about romantic love, this day can be about the love you share with any of the important people in your life - friends, parents, kids, cousins, grandparents...because in the end, it is all about love.
Having a day devoted to love is pretty wonderful. I could do without all the pink and red, but at the end of the day, I'm not complaining - there are far worse things to celebrate than love.
And that's really what today is all about...so even though you love them all 364 other days of the year, make today special for those you love. Remind them of why you think they're so wonderful, why you're glad they're in your life, and why you love them.
It doesn't have to be cheesy or tacky or over-the-top. It can be. But it doesn't have to be. We all express love in different ways, so you don't necessarily have to buy what Hallmark is selling...but don't be like I have in the past, boycotting the lovely day of love, simply because you're too stubborn to see that love is something that definitely deserves to be celebrated.