What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? When I was young, I remember the first thing I thought of was how many valentines I would need for my elementary school class and how fun it would be to make my own “Valentine box.” As I got older, my thoughts changed to nervousness about who I would ask to the high school dance or how I could impress my date. As I entered adulthood and the holiday became more commercialized, I would be surrounded by images of red roses and pink hearts. I looked forward to having a partner to spoil with chocolate and kisses.
But even when we stop growing physically, we never stop growing emotionally, do we? Over the years, my sentiments about the holiday have continued to change. I was lucky enough to find a partner to share Valentine's Day with, my amazing wife, Michelle. We have shared many dinners and adventures together. And over time, our love expanded to include our beautiful children. Starting a family of my own has made me reflect on holiday traditions and what memories I want to make for my kids.
I know a friend who made a conscious decision to always give his daughters a small Valentine’s gift along with his wife’s. He loves being able to show his daughters love in that way while also showing them how much he loves their mom. Hearing that got me thinking about how people share their love with others in their lives.
I think of how I’ve seen love shown in the movies. For example, professing love in the grandest of gestures with rose petals, balloons, and giant teddy bears. But that’s not what I’ve personally seen in my lifetime. I’ve seen young people in my neighborhood quietly tape hearts on doors – leaving a “heart attack,” if you will – to show love to unsuspecting neighbors. One year a relative of mine went out with her girlfriends, and they turned it into an annual celebration of their friendship every February. I have friends who are single and celebrate the day by treating their pets or taking a self-care day for themselves.
There are many different ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, and you’re allowed to share the love you have with anyone you want. Sharing your love with others is something that should be celebrated. And that, to me, is what Valentine’s Day is truly about. Beyond cards and candy, beyond chocolate and roses, it’s an opportunity to tell others how much we love them. Your family, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers…or in my case, my clients.
Valentine’s Day is about appreciating every form of love. So, on behalf of Tina and me, we hope you have a wonderful holiday. May it be personal, not commercial. May it be spent however and with whomever you wish. And no matter how you celebrate your love. We hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day!