You know what the first thing I say about Valentine’s Day? Gross… so gross. I have always disliked Valentine’s day. I’m not a lovey dovey person. I don’t like pink. I’m not a fan of red roses. I wore black on this day growing up.
Why such drama?
Well, it’s a simple, yet sad answer . . .
I wasn’t anyone’s first choice as a Valentine.
Valentine’s day always made me feel bad; and when you don’t want to feel bad, you play it down and don’t get invested, and soon enough the day no long matters to you.
I don’t like holidays that make others feel bad or unloved or not valuable. That’s what Valentine’s day does to a lot of people.
How to change Valentine’s day
I liked making valentines when I was a kid and those fun valentine boxes. It was a great way to express my creativity. That was what I liked about the holiday.
My first date with my now husband was on February 10th (today, many years ago) and we married ten months later. So our first Valentine’s day together was after we were married, and the first thing I did was let him off the hook. I was up front that I never liked Valentine’s day, I didn’t need him doing anything like spending a bunch of money we didn’t have on something frivolous, and I didn’t want him to feel unnecessary pressure of thinking that he needed to get me anything. But I did ask one thing of him – I wanted a homemade Valentine’s day card.
Because it’s silly. A dumb, silly valentine made from construction paper. I didn’t want anything elaborate, but just a homemade card.
This tradition is probably the best idea we ever came up with. My cards are the highlight of our marriage. They encapsulate the humor, the steadiness, and friendship we share. And I try to compete but my husband’s cards are always way better than mine. I try, but his sense of humor wins every time.
The unexpected consequence of the homemade card is how sentimental it is. There is something personally endearing about making something for someone. There is thought and consideration and time. personal time creating something for someone seems like it’s worth more.
This year at my day job, we decided to make Valentine boxes. What a great distraction from the daily stress. I have been incredibly impressed with the creativity that oozes out of some of my co-workers. For valentines to go in these boxes, I’ve created little homemade buttons using my button press with little blood drops and platelets and smiley faces I colored myself.
So, why valentines and why this year?
The answer is very simple…
We need them.
We are now two years into feeling the pandemic sludge. Everyone is down in the dumps. You wouldn’t believe the power construction paper and a little glue can do. It’s the unexpected sentiment, the manual cutting and pasting that creates such a warm charm others melt over.
I’ve kept all these homemade cards and the treasure is bountiful. This has passed on to my kids who also value the gift of something homemade and thoughtful. It doesn’t take much time or a huge amount of creativity to simply say “Thank you for being in my life”. We all need to hear that, and this year is more important than ever.
We have all lost a lot these past two years. Let’s show others that you matter and it doesn’t need to be a box of impersonal chocolates or wilting roses. It can be small. It can be simple.
Give valentines this year and see what a difference you can make in the lives of the people you love.