In Defense of Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

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?

foam stickers + twigs from the yard = easy decorating

foam stickers + twigs from the yard = easy decorating

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.

valentines mailboxes

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.

9 Responses to “In Defense of Valentine’s Day”

  1. Charity February 14, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    It is a fun holiday. We don’t overdo it but I love how hubby has cards and chocolate for each of the girls. He set them out before leaving for work and I texted him pictures if each opening theirs.

    • learnedhappiness February 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Aww… Love that! 🙂 I uses to get flowers from my grandpa and candy from my dad. It always felt very special.

  2. Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) February 14, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    I SO love this. I might need to borrow this idea for future Valentine’s Days. :>

    p.s. I LOVE Hallmark. I could live in that store and go for broke!

  3. quinn0808 February 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I totally agree with you I love the day!! Not for what the market makes it out to be, but because for us it’s a day to let the ones you care about know you love them. We get so busy that having a day to just stop is needed

  4. elise February 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    i never cared one way or the other when i was younger (i know, apathy isn’t generally an expected reaction to v-day… love it or hate it, but really, i didn’t care). even when i was with paul, i could go either way, but now that we have kids, it’s one of my favorite days! we do a lot as a family (okay, maybe not a lot, but for us…) and it makes it special for all of us 🙂 so thanks for sharing a positive spin (sometimes i feel like i’m alone in appreciating the day as a mom of youngsters).

    and ps, the 50% off candy is all for me… paul has to work late friday and all day saturday this year 😛 –the question is, is that 50% off candy a blessing or a curse? happy valentine’s day!

    • learnedhappiness February 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

      A curse, I think! Lol. The funny thing is I can’t even eat any of it this year, being dairy-free. Maybe some skittles. Yes, I think I’ll fill a bath tub with skittles and swim like Scrooge McDuck. 😉

  5. Galit Breen February 16, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    I absolutely love this.

    (So, so very much!)


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