I've never really gotten into all the hype surrounding Valentine's Day. I mean, it was cute and all, and much more fun when I actually had a Valentine than when I didn't, but it was never high on my list of favorite holidays. Before kids, Jay and I usually celebrated Valentine's Day like we celebrated our birthdays: a really nice dinner out that may have also included a room at a Pricelined hotel (when we lived in Chicago). After kids, we were lucky to get each other a card.
But this year was different. I appreciated Valentine's Day so much more this year because it was a Hallmark holiday. After surviving Christmas and anticipating Easter, both of which are significant religious holidays loaded up with all kinds of other marketing garbage, it was so nice not to have to try to separate the sacred from the profane. What a relief.
I celebrated by buying as much junk from Hobby Lobby as I could find and making Valentine's Day cards with Joshua and Clare. We fingerprinted, fingerpainted, stickered, and colored our way into a whole raft of homemade Valentine's Day cards that we gave to grandparents, Vati, and Joshua's playschool class. We talked about how we like to do nice things for people we love to show them that we care about them, without any of the "Yes, but" conversations that were so much a part of Christmas.
And Jay and I even took the opportunity to spend some much needed time together. On and around Valentine's Day I heard and read a lot of people who went on about how people shouldn't have to have a special day to acknowledge their love and blah, blah, blah. But to tell you the truth, I do need that. And I think Jay does, too. We're constantly running around in such a frenzy that we need to be reminded of how important it is to take a break and just be together. So what if it's a Hallmark holiday. It was the excuse we needed to hang out together and have fun. And hopefully we'll remember how important that was and won't neglect to do it again.
If it gives me an excuse to have fun with my kids without having to spend all my time trying to help them untangle religious understandings from marketing ploys, and if it reminds me of how important it is to spend time with the guy I love for 364 other days, then I say bring it on.