Valentines Day is a day that I’ve always hated on principle. Any holiday that not only excludes a good portion of our society but also makes them miserable is not one worth celebrating, in my opinion. I’ve been one of those people. Not for as long as some, certainly – but it felt like an eternity at the time. Now, as a married woman, I feel that my husband shouldn’t need an excuse such as Valentines Day to do things to show me his love, to buy me flowers, write me a nice note, maybe take me out to dinner – he should do it any time through the year because he loves me. Every woman’s dream, right?
But men aren’t typically that way. They don’t go out and buy flowers and chocolates just because, they need that reminder. They don’t think of these things by themselves. My husband tends to be an aberration in that respect – he periodically will come home with a candy bar or a bouquet of flowers “just because”. He does show me that love spontaneously. Not always, not even frequently. But just enough. I’m lucky to have a husband like him.
The other day I had a conversation with my now 9 year old daughter about Valentines Day. She said to me that she thought it would be nice to give each other things like they do in her friend’s family. I thought about it for a day or two, and then I realized something. My mother always inflexibly stuck to something based on principle, even to the point of disregarding her children’s feelings in some cases. I don’t want to be that way with my children, particularly over something unimportant like my feelings for Valentine’s day.
While it traditionally is a day for celebrating romantic love, why shouldn’t it also be a day to celebrate our love for each other as a family, or for our friends?
So I bent. I acknowledged the day – albeit in a small way, but sometimes those small things are enough, and we end up appreciating them even more. My girls got some candy “wrapped” in a mason jar with a bow (something incredibly simple for me but so appreciated by them – it’s chocolate after all).My husband got a couple bottles of two of his favorites: Madeira and port. I made a special dinner – which was actually breakfast; some scrambled eggs and greek yogurt pancakes from Ree Drummond’s new Dinnertime cookbook. I threw in some Valentines colored M&Ms, too. They were oh so delicious – but didn’t make near a big enough batch.
The lesson I learned this Valentine’s day is to celebrate the love that we have in our lives and the people in them. It should be a day about love for family and friends, not only romantic love.
And as a bonus, it happens to be the day that I met my husband – 13 years ago today, so I can just celebrate that!