When I was a child I never had to give out meaningless valentines to my indifferent classmates. I had my family and a few friends, and we celebrated with home decorations and simple handmade cards. My mother has these placemats and napkin rings that she pulls out after we undecorate for Christmas which are festive and fun.
One day we knew that we would be driving home from a church growth conference on Valentine’s day and so momma bought the classic five-penny boxes of valentines to give to us throughout the day. She would tape them up to the window of the van after we got in or out and we would find them and smile.
Later, I made valentines by using needle and thread to make patterns on cardstock, so I could give them out to new friends. I still enjoy giving out valentines to my friends, so that I now am carrying around a pouch of valentines to give to those around me.
At every Valentine’s day in the past I have been celebrating the holiday mostly aware of the greeting card companies that began the mass celebration of the day. Since I have never been in a relationship during Valentine’s day I was aware of the caustic appellation of “Singles Awareness Day” but never really wanted to be so sour. I have had a positive view of the day, and optimistically celebrated it, more for my friends, and the fact that it is so much fun to give out valentines than needing to dwell on my singleness.
Since it is fun, and a bit silly, I will continue to give out my valentines, because it is just fun to be silly. It also doesn’t cost me much but some time and a sense of playfulness. And why wouldn’t I want to be playful on a day that we have come to celebrate as a hopeful outlook for the relationships of those around us.
I know it made me happy to see my parents having fun celebrating the day, and letting us join in on the celebration. So I hope that I will continue to have fun with the celebration and continue to not see it as the mass produced monstrosity that wants all single women to gorge on cheap chocolates, but let it remind us that we can love those around us even if we have no one with whom we can be romantic.
Isn’t that more romantic, that we can all be celebrating each other’s love?