I’m not at all apologetic. I love St. Valentine’s Day for brightening up the dead of winter. I can tolerate January, but by mid February, I’m tired of cold and snow, hats, boots and gloves, and ice on the back steps. I love the bright pink and warm red hearts, the lace, the ribbons, the arrow flying through the gray skies to pierce the heart of the one I love.
When I was in grade school, my mom would take me to the dime store so I could pick out a pack of die-cut cards wrapped in a cellophane bag. They came in different sizes, and some of them folded twice to be tucked into tiny white envelopes.
We decorated a shoe box with a slot cut in the lid to school to hold all their Valentines from the class exchange. My box was usually covered in red paper with a white doily glued on the top. I still feel nostalgic about doilies. I usually have a pack in my craft room.
What I liked best was everyone participated in the school exchange. Everyone had reason to felt special.
Cupids, doves, and beating red hearts. Kisses and hugs and paper promises of Be Mine. Funny sayings and twists on words, like a dog that says “I chews you to be my Valentine.”
I sent Valentines to both my parents (they were divorced). I always buy or make one for my husband.
And my grandchildren! My granddaughter is crazy about cats, and my grandson’s hero is Godzilla, so this is what I sent them this year. I imagine them opening the cards and smiling. The thought makes me smile.
To me, this is Valentine’s Day. A bright spot of love in a cold dark month.
People whine that St. Valentine’s Day is overly commercial, a manufactured holiday meant to boost card and candy sales. I call them Valentine Humbugs. It’s true that it’s a good day for sales. Apparently more than half of the U.S. population celebrates by at least buying a greeting card. Women tend to buy approximately 85% of all the Valentine’s Day cards sold, but men spend double the amount of money on gifts than women do.
At least 9 million people buy their pet a Valentine! Woof!
Isn’t that a good thing?
You don’t have to spend money
But it doesn’t have to be commercial. You can surprise someone with a handmade Valentine, an envelope stuffed with little hearts, a red, heart-shaped paper snowflake. Call a friend, hug your significant other, call your sibling, give your dog a treat. Bake some heart-shaped sugar cookies. Hang a heart on your front door or in your window.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, about one woman’s need to tell the truth without shame.
Angelica must find the strength to make her life her own after a devastating family secret, heartbreak, betrayal and bad decisions turn her world upside down.
Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
Readers’ Favorite Finalist
USA Book News Best Book Finalist
New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters