Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Appreciating Valentine's Day

I remember thinking Valentine's Day was exciting as a kid. We would make little mailboxes for our desks and pick out cute Valentines to put into each mailbox, saving the really cool ones for the friends we liked best.

As I got older, and giving Valentines weren't an obligation made by my second grade teacher, the holiday lost its appeal. Every time I was single, the day was just a square on the calendar that may as well have been a box of salt pouring itself into the glaring wound that no one liked me that year. The term 'Single's Awareness Day' is what we called it. 

Now that I'm married and have kids I'm trying to figure out if I am not a fan of this holiday--which seems to be a marketing ploy for sugary sweets, overpriced Hallmark cards, and flowers that will die in 2 days (at least on my watch). Or if maybe, there is something important to love about all of this.

A common response from people who give a big, fat thumbs down to celebrating February 14th is, 'we should show people we love them everyday, not just Valentine's Day.' I hear ya, I can get on board with that train. But, the problem is...we don't! Thinking back, my Facebook newsfeed glittered with people giving thanks and appreciation for life during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then came January and the post-holiday blues and it went back to people complaining about how much Mondays suck and how people suck at driving and how the weather sucks and how life...sucks. Unless of course you just won the Super Bowl;)

So, while I risk the label of "jumping on the Valentine's Day bandwagon," I have to say I appreciate the marker that reminds us to love our people. To do something nice and fancy and out of the ordinary that February 13th and 15th don't call for. To send our friends, spouse, parents, or kids a card or gift reminding them we don't just appreciate them during Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries.

But, that we love them in the middle of February, too.

--Lisa Barton

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