Happy Sunday, Friends! Hope you’re having a great weekend!
Earlier this month, I walked into the grocery store and was greeted by a familiar display: the seasonal aisle in February, overflowing with oversized teddy bears and garish pink balloons.
Most people have a complicated relationship with Valentine’s Day. Mine began in elementary school when a male classmate gave me a Michael Jordan valentine card that read “You turn me on,” next to which he had written, “NOT.” Setting aside the incredibly inappropriate words on a child’s valentine and the fact that neither of us knew what it meant, I got the message.
Presumably our teachers required us to give these cards to everyone in our class so that we would learn to love others equally, and so everyone could take home a literal bag full of love. Unfortunately, we all got hand cramps signing our name to 30 romantic references that we barely understood enough to know we didn’t mean them.
It’s easy to take issue with the holiday’s commercialism and how it supports the societal pressure that says you’re only whole if you’re in a romantic relationship. As an adult, I’ve been single during many Valentine’s Days and have had dates for a few, but my favorite February 14 thus far was the year I received a care package from my mom during study abroad in Scotland. I clutched that envelope of cards and candy while I walked the cobblestone streets of campus, feeling so loved and grateful.
So this year, when we feel surrounded by fear and division, I thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to do something loving. Yesterday, some like-minded friends and I went to Target to pick up items to donate to Clothes To Kids. For the same amount of money as a dozen roses and a box of chocolates, we dropped off a few items that will hopefully help some kids in our community feel better prepared to greet the day.
If you, too, roll your eyes at the giant teddy bears and balloons (the chocolate can stay, though), please join me in searching for a new way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re attached or single, it’s a safe bet that someone out there could really use your love.