When I was younger, Valentine’s Day was always special because I would wake up, walk into the kitchen to have breakfast before going off to school, and on the table, would be a card and some chocolate from my parents. The kitchen would have a nice Valentine’s Day theme and it was always a treat to wake up to. I mean, sure, what kid doesn’t like getting some chocolate? But even more so, my parents, who took time out of their lives every single day to tell us they love us, took even more time out of their day to do Valentine’s Day Cards for us, to get the kitchen ready, and to make it even more special for us. Today, the majority of people struggle to get out the door in the morning without forgetting to pick up a quick breakfast on the way out, let alone take care of two kids getting ready for school and wake up extra early (or go to bed late) to prepare everything to make the morning more special.
My parents would also have to help me do Valentine’s Day Cards for my classmates- a tradition I continued all throughout elementary school. I remember in Grade Four or Five, when I was getting ready to hand a few cards out, the mother of a friend of mine asked “Don’t you think you’re a bit too old for that?” Now, this wasn’t the first holiday she had tried to ruin for me, so I wasn’t shocked when she asked, but it still hurt. Which, looking back on today, is sad. I am so sorry, for while being younger, wanting to share some happy feelings with my classmates. I always gave my cards out to EVERYONE, not just kids I was friends with. I knew of a few kids in my class who were getting picked on, and just seeing their smiles when they got their Valentine’s Day card had made all of it worth it. In general, I think it is sad that in a time where hate is shown more than love sometimes, on the one day where you were given a chance to show even more love, I was getting criticized for doing it. To answer the above mentioned Mother’s question all these years later, “No. I am not, nor will I ever be too old for this. There should never be an age limit for telling people you care about them.”
This post was partially inspired by my friend at iaccidentlyatethewholething who did a post about Social Media on Valentine’s Day (it’s a good read, check it out!) which makes several good points about how so many people share photos of the gifts their significant other got them on Facebook etc and it reminded me of my views of Valentine’s Day throughout High School. During those five years, I would secretly love the idea of Valentine’s Day as much as I did throughout elementary school but, I would also be Anti-Valentine’s with my best friend (she would wear an anti- Valentine’s shirt and everything) just because I honestly disliked what the holiday revolved around now. “Is my crush going to ask me out today? Are we going to go to the dance together? Will I get a Valentine-o-gram sent to me in class this year?”… it was just exhausting. Plus, instead of the love being shared with everyone, you got to sit there and watch while a bunch of people got roses and cards from their friends or the person they were dating while you sat there pretending to be REALLY interested in a few math equations the teacher had given you. As though high school wasn’t bad enough already for some people, they had to sit through that too.
Facebook sometimes makes life feel like one huge, never-ending High School, although there are good and bad sides to this… but that’s a topic of conversation for a different post entirely. This is not to say that I have never posted my Valentine’s Day experiences, for I know for a fact that I have. Honestly, I like seeing how everyone is celebrating via Social Media- if I were to say that sharing the love on Facebook is ridiculous, I would be a complete hypocrite and would feel like I was turning into the questioning Mother previously mentioned. Share the love however you want to, because we all know there will be an equal amount of people whose statuses will describe how stupid Valentine’s Day is.
However, I also make it clear, that everyone deserves to have a good Valentine’s Day- whether it is with your significant other, your family, your friends or enjoying some peace and quiet to yourself. Whatever makes you feel beautiful and loved- do it for yourself today. Don’t have a “Valentine” to share it with? Who cares? You have someone to focus all of your good energy on today- you. Plus, you would get to have all of that candy and chocolate to yourself if that is how you want to celebrate…. 😉
Overall, I want to wish EVERYONE a very Happy Valentine’s Day and I hope you enjoy celebrating it however you want to. I am lucky to have my family members who always remind me of why I love Valentine’s Day in the first place and what celebrating love is all about. I would give up several of my recent Valentine’s Days to go back to being a kid and celebrating at breakfast with my parents. Looking at photos of my grandparents, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law and getting Valentine’s from my nieces and nephew…. that fills my heart with warmth and I can’t ask for anything more. They never cease to remind me of what is truly important and put everything in perspective. Thinking of when my grandparents got married, and how they may have celebrated Valentine’s Day, if at all- it was probably much more simple than how people celebrate it today. I know for a fact, that my Grandmother would not look back on her days with my Grandpa and think of the things that were purchased- but would instead talk about the memories she has of him and the TIME they shared.
Today is not about the candy, the chocolate or the gifts (while it is the thought that counts), it is all simply about love. Love between friends, family, couples… whoever it may be. I can’t forgo mentioning that I am lucky to also have my other half to celebrate with in our own way, which may sound boring to some but will be done by staying warm inside during this crazy, cold, -40 weather, watching movies while our cat is cozy purring nearby and spending time together. That is all that really matters.
How will you be celebrating, if at all?