Every year on February 14th, people are hustling and bustling to find their loved ones the perfect flowers, gifts, and arranging dinner reservations. But often we don’t really settle down and truly realize the meaning of Valentine’s Day.
I have always loved love. I enjoy doing little things to brighten up the people around me. Every now and then, I’ll bring my mom flowers– not because it’s her birthday or a holiday, it’s because she’s so special to me and I want her to feel as special as she makes me, my dad, my siblings and everyone around her feel special. Every now and then, I’ll see something that I think someone close to me would like–and so I buy it. When it is birthdays– because everyone who knows me, knows how much I love birthdays– I WILL shower you. I always go for gifts that are personal. Not some random thing-a-ma-bob. Something genuine. Because I genuinely care about those in my life.
However, I do not, and probably won’t ever, care that much for Valentine’s Day, and I will tell you why. But first, I think it is time for a little history lesson– on where Valentine’s Day actually came from.
Most people just assume that Valentine’s day is merely a Hallmark holiday. Some people love it because they get to shower the people they love in gifts, candy, flowers, et cetera, some don’t care because they feel you should shower the one you love every day and some hate it because they are single and to them, it’s just another “single-awareness” day. But the truth is, it’s more than that. And that yes, Hallmark has made it into this big deal about the gifts and cute cards and everything. It is a chance for every card company (**cough, cough– Hallmark**), every candy and flower shop, every restaurant, and jewelry store to make a big buck. But there is a simple answer to all that– especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s okay to buy your cards at the Dollar Tree. And guess what? THEY HAVE HALLMARK CARDS. And honestly, if your significant other is bothered by you spending a dollar versus $20+ dollars then there is something wrong– because again, this day shouldn’t be about how much you buy– it should be about LOVE. I think it’s nice when people do little things for the ones you love– the little extra things to say “I Love you” but you know you love them every day. Truthfully, old fashion love is truly the best and it’s something rare– like a diamond. Treat your loved one like a diamond.. instead of buying her millions of diamonds. Food for thought– eh?
So here is your history lesson for the day–because believe it or not. This is how we’ve come to know what is “Valentine’s Day.” What people don’t realize or perhaps they knew and just forgot, but it is that in the middle ages.. somewhere in A.D. there was Saint Valentine. There were three known Saint Valentine’s or Valentinus, but I’m only going to talk about two. One was a priest and he would marry soldiers in secret because back then they believed single men made better soldiers. I think in today’s society, love is the most powerful thing, and no one should ever be pulled away from being with the one they love. Well, Saint Valentine recognized this. The second Valentine was imprisoned and he attempted to help Christians escape from harsh Roman prisons. He was the first to write, what we know today, a “Valentine”. He had written to the girl he loved– possibly known as his jailor’s daughter, who would visit him. He signed it, “From your Valentine,” which is an expression we very much use today. The history goes on and on about other things that occurred in France, Rome, and England. These romantic gestures make all the Saint Valentine’s as sympathetic, heroic, and most importantly, romantic. And these gestures have spread like wildfire. Now here we are today–where people still consider it all about Hallmark… but let me remind you, it isn’t just about expectations– it’s about love. And it isn’t about being in a relationship–it isn’t about couples and grand gestures. It’s about friendship, it’s about showing those you care about them that you would go to great lengths or small lengths– to show them that you love them.
Saint Valentine wasn’t heroic or romantic because he bought his true-love a $1500 rose-made teddy bear and he wasn’t all those things because he spent hundreds of dollars on the nicest restaurant in town. It was because he believed that people deserve to be treated specially. That often, the smallest gestures, are the biggest. He was willing to break the rules–such as marrying off these young couples because he believed in their love and believed that love, made them stronger. And while the other Valentine was locked up in a cell– he still managed to write a simple love letter.
The moral of this story is that we should stop expecting so much on this one day. We should show our friends and family and our significant others how much we care without spending so much money. You know that saying “It’s the little things that count”– well, hold onto that quote. This day shouldn’t be about just couples, because if you only share that love for one day then it isn’t real. You are just trying to play into what Hallmark wants you to believe in. My mom taught me that, “love is caring every day of the year.” And that saying could not be truer. It’s about the little things— such as opening the door for someone, making them lunch or dinner or even breakfast. Valentine’s Day is a day where you can overly show people in your life you care deeply about them. That is how it should be celebrated. Not about the big gifts and spending hundreds on restaurants and jewelry and flowers. Enjoy this day of love. And know that YOU are deeply loved and appreciated 365 days of the year!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!