Monday, February 14, 2011

My Favorite Misunderstood Holiday!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I was so happy that my blog day fell today as Valentine’s Day is by far my favorite holiday. And over the years I have always been on a mission to gain support for my favorite day.

I LOVE everything about Valentine’s Day, well except those chalky conversation hearts. And oh how I celebrate the day! My house is decked out in hearts, my children and I are decked in red (well had to compromise with H and let him wear his blue Spiderman shirt: "It has red on it Mommy"), and yes I still send out Valentines each and every year to my cherished friends and family.

So I guess you can say I fly my red and pink flag proudly! But when I tell people Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, I am usually met with two standard responses: “Really, over CHRISTMAS?” or “Oh I hate that holiday, its SUCH a Hallmark holiday”.

I have never understood the problem so many people have with Valentine's Day. I mean what’s not to like about a day that celebrates the loved ones in our lives? I mean come on…people love celebrating Halloween, a day in honor of ghouls and goblins…but roll their eyes on Valentine’s Day????

Single people often hate Valentine’s Day because it reminds them they are not coupled. I have never bought into that. I have spent many more of my Valentine’s days single than coupled, and had my fair share of un-requited Valentines. But I never really equated Valentine’s Day with just romantic love…its about LOVE in general. If you look at it this way, we are never without a Valentine.

But what amazes me is that it isn’t just single people that reject the holiday, couples do as well. Often I hear coupled people explain their position by saying: “It’s such a Hallmark holiday” or “I don’t need a day to tell someone I love them”.

Well first, for those who think it’s a Hallmark holiday, created merely to sell cards and candy, let me give you a short history lesson. Valentine’s Day actually dates back to 4th century B.C., and I’m pretty sure there was no Hallmark back then. So, yes non-believers people have been celebrating Valentine’s Day for centuries.

Second, even though you think you may not need a day to tell someone you love them, in our society we really do. Our society is so fast paced, there is so much stress put upon us, so it is important to step away from all the drama in our lives and just focus on our loved ones. Put away the work, don’t worry about the bills, just focus on showing people you love them. We all need that.

Maybe some couples don’t like Valentine’s Day because it certainly changes over the course of a relationship. Mine certainly has. When we were dating, Todd always went overboard with dinner reservations, flowers, and presents. I was swept off my feet in pure romantic gestures. Candlelight dinners, special cards, special gifts. But now, with three children and two busy jobs, we don’t have the luxury of a romantic celebration on Valentine’s. So we’ve had to improvise and focus more on celebrating our love than romance. This year, since Todd really wanted to take me out for my special holiday, we took the kids to Happy Joe’s for Pizza and fun in their play zone. There laughing in that booth over pizza meant more to me than the countless romantic dinners we have had. I think it was because Todd didn’t have the option of romancing me, but yet wanted to show me how much he loved me…and he certainly did.

For me, it’s the little things that always warm my heart on Valentine’s Day. My college friend that I haven’t seen in years but yet always remembers to send me a handmade Valentine, my father who after 32 years has never missed a year of sending me flowers on Valentine’s Day, my friends who send me countless emails and greetings to tell me how much they value our friendship, my husband who battles countless floral shops in search of places that carry Valentine’s bouquets with no red roses (as I despise red roses), my daughter who spent about 45 minutes at the museum this weekend crafting a handmade Valentine for her Daddy. That is what Valentine’s Day is to me.

And this year, I had my favorite Valentine’s moment of all time. Yesterday, my husband and son, H, went out to the hardware store. While they were out, my son asked my husband to take him to buy me and his brother and sister a Valentine. There in the store, H picked out three special cards and candy. He then came home, worked hard to sign his name, and handed out his prizes. He walked over to me and in his precious voice said: “Happy Valentine’s Day Mommy”. He then handed me his present (Peeps candy hearts) and card with a sense of pride on his face. I truly felt loved in that moment, and yes of course I cried!

So all you non-believers do me a favor today and spend less time rolling your eyes and complaining about Valentine’s Day and more time focusing on doing special things for your friends and family. If you do this, I promise you will love this holiday as much as I do.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! Now go out and love on the world!


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