watercolor of red and pink potted cyclamen

Love, Valentine’s Day


31 Days of Resolutions – Day 12

Valentine’s Day, according to my husband, is a “Hallmark” holiday. Meaning that it isn’t a true holiday but one purposely created by merchants to sell goods.

Maybe that’s true but it’s irrelevant to me. Ever since I was young enough to understand it, Valentine’s Day has been the holiday that makes the first quarter of the year bearable.

Valentine’s Day Delivers

I associate New Year’s Day with packing away the glitter of the holidays and returning the gifts that didn’t quite work.

January’s bleakness includes dark, cloudy days, freezing temperatures, and dieting after the splurges of December gluttony.

Hardly inspiring, especially for kids.

Then along comes a holiday that includes a background of the prettiest hues and textures – clear reds, soft pastels, shiny foil, and frothy paper lace.

Only Halloween eclipsed The Valentine’s Day party in elementary school.

Valentine’s Day meant decorating cardboard mailboxes, crafting or shopping for Valentine cards. Then, scanning the class lists for likes and dislikes (everyone got cards, regardless), and munching dutifully on weird-tasting Sweetheart Valentine candies and better-tasting but aptly named cinnamon Red Hots.

I don’t remember exactly when we would set our mailboxes on our desks and then walk around the classroom distributing cards.

As a teacher, I quickly learned to hold this ceremony first thing in the morning. Otherwise, every student spends the morning distracted by the anticipation of opening their cardboard treasure chest.

Why So Serious?

The simple pleasures of Valentine’s Day can get lost in the hubbub of routine obligations. But I still get sentimental when I pass a cellophane-protected display of pink and red cyclamen ready for purchase, or a package of lacy paper doilies.

This year is perfect for planning something a little special for Valentine’s Day. Set aside time for making and/or sending Valentines. (You can see how to make origami Valentines here, and heart-shaped sugar cookies here.)

Who couldn’t use a little spirit boost in February?

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