Valentine’s Day — Obligation or Opportunity?
It’s impossible to avoid. At every turn are bouquets of red roses, displays of heart-shaped candy boxes, and commercials for expensive sparkling gems. And then there are those love-struck, doting couples staring longingly into each other’s eyes, completely oblivious to anything or anyone around them. There’s love in the air, but it doesn’t seem to be what I’m breathing.
It’s probably no surprise that Valentine’s Day has become my least favorite holiday. I don’t know exactly when it happened -- it seems to have been a slow progression in a downward spiral as my singleness continued through the years. Annually, it became an in-my-face reminder of my partnerless state and turned me into a critic of this $14 billion “holiday.” It all just seemed too commercial-driven and manufactured. A day set aside for love? Shouldn’t we be expressing love every day? Who created this holiday anyway? Is it a secret conspiracy between Hallmark, FTD, and Ghirardelli? Each year these thoughts returned as the dreaded February 14 approached.
But now I’m beginning to see this day to celebrate love in a new way -- not as an obligation but an opportunity. Why not set aside a special day each year to express our feelings of gratitude and affection to those we hold most dear? Besides, this Hallmark holiday doesn’t have to be exclusively about romantic love. In fact this year I’ve decided to host a “Galentine’s” party for my women’s group, complete with pot luck dinner and chick flicks -- pajamas are the only requirement for entry. (Sorry, no men or PJ party crashers allowed.) It seems like the perfect way to spend the day as this year has brought me many deep, new friendships. Through cards of encouragement, words of empowerment, and especially fervent prayers from sisters in Christ I have experienced love like I’ve never felt before. So it seems only fitting for me to say “Thank You” to those who have loved me for the last 364 days.
Whether you are celebrating romantic love, friendship, or family bonds, Valentine’s Day can become an occasion to say “Thank You” to someone in your life. It’s not an obligation but an opportunity. Don’t miss it!