Have I ever told you I worked at a Hallmark? Three of them, to be precise. They were great jobs. Nice folks to work with, friendly customers, and the Martha Stewart in me never got tired of wrapping gifts and making balloon bouquets. To this day, I still find it difficult to go down a card aisle in the grocery store without replacing misplaced cards and straightening envelopes.
Let me tell you a little insider secret. Hallmark LOVES Valentine’s Day. It really is a “Hallmark holiday.” All those cards. Those pointless little decorative gifts. The overpriced candy. What’s not to love about it if you’re a commercial enterprise focused on monetizing sentiment?
And still, I look forward to it every year. Here’s why.
I know that ideally, the husband and I would take time each day to remind each other of our love. And ideally, dishwasher-emptying and child-rearing would count as romantic gestures. But being married with two small children means that sometimes you have to face reality, and the bottom line is that we rarely have time to make the other person feel special. By putting romance on the calendar, we guarantee that it will happen. It’s like scheduling sex. Not ideal, but you gotta do what works to stay connected.
This February, the four-year-old and I put three small mailboxes (thank you, Target dollar section!) on the front table. We’ve been leaving little love notes and trinkets for each other all month and though they’ve been small gestures, it’s meant the world to all of us. The heart garland around the front door makes us all feel special and adds some FUN to our home. And the husband and I had some nice, simple, romantic plans… until he and the kids contacted the flu this week anyway.
So though I agree that holidays have become too commercial these days, and I know for sure that Hallmark loves Valentine’s Day, I say make it what you want. Take the opportunity to slow down and say I love you to the friends and family in your life.
And if you want to make it even better, celebrate it on February 15th. When all the candy is 50% off. Nothing says “I love you” like discounted candy. Seriously.