Valentine's Day - Why all the hatin'?

A re-blog from my Livejournal, circa 2007

Valentine's Day...

I have never understood the amount of negativity people have toward a holiday that is devoted to love. This is not directed at anyone particular, but instead feelings that have long germinated in me over this topic.

"But it's so COMMERCIALIZED..."
You don't have to buy a THING from Hallmark or anyone else to give a gift to someone you love. Draw or paint something for your Mom. Sew up something fun for your best girlfriend. Make a "coupon book" for your boyfriend. Wash your car and go for a day road-trip with your honey, pack a picnic many little things you can do for fun.

"I hate feeling like I am OBLIGATED to do something..."
Obligated? How about OPPORTUNITY?! A chance to celebrate the idea of love, in all its forms, with the rest of the country (or world, depending on other countries that celebrate it :). A chance to smile, look someone in the eye, and say "Happy Valentine's Day!" and better yet, follow it up with "I love you!" And from there, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. No obligation. Just a chance to do something a little special and different from last Tuesday...

"Why just ONE day? I mean, we should be loving to each other EVERY day."
Right, and every day should be your birthday, because you are valuable and special every day? And it should be Christmas every day because we should celebrate good will toward men every day. And it should be Independence Day every day because we should be grateful for all the freedoms our country allows us, and the honor the men and women who fight for those rights and priviledges. And am I only required to not be racist during black history month?

Setting aside one day to especially recognize something important doesn't mean it isn't something that should be valued and practiced the rest of the year. But having one day to really focus on it and share that moment with many other people who are also celebrating and honoring's magical. Give yourself permission to share in it, too!

If you don't want to celebrate it, fine. But the excuses make no sense to me. This holiday, in whatever different form, was around long before commercialism took hold of it. We don't have to be bound by what they say it is. It is what WE make it--a chance to give friends an extra-special gift or write them a note to acknowledgment their value in our lives; a chance to pat ourselves on the back and focus on the love we have for ourselves and maybe treat ourselves to a little indulgence we might not ordinarily; a chance to go out of your way to tell your family how much they mean to you and add a smile to their day; and for some it is just plain permission to say "I love you" to people who on any other day might feel it was overly emotional or out of context--not everyone has open, loving relationships in their lives where they get to say it and hear it every other day of the year. If you are one who does, then you are blessed. If you are not, then don't disparage a holiday and businesses which support the practice so at least one day a year, a woman (or man) gets flowers, candy, and a back rub. :)

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