Behind Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is the second most celebrated holiday in the world. Over 200 million cards and digital versions will be sent this year. What’s all the fuss? I have always been a willing participant in the holiday but not sure if it is simply that I am caught in the wave or like the idea of celebrating my closer, more loving connections. I guess either way it’s probably a good thing. A day devoted to thinking and doing for those for whom we have a special affection can only be good.

I have often stated that, “Relationships are built, they don’t just happen”. Valentines Day is a pretty good spot in that relationship road building where we can upgrade our commitment to someone. It doesn’t take too much usually, but probably something more than a card or a digital message.

Everybody likes to be thought of, and often. So we start there. We think of the person. We think what he/she likes, what we know about them and what makes them laugh. Most likely something in those thoughts can then be materialized. We can find a restaurant that makes their favorite foods, an event playing their favorite music, and/or a place that represents something that pulled you together in the first place. This is not rocket science but it does take some effort and some care.

My wife and I trade off each year with the other creating the experience. I begin looking for signs early, like right after Christmas, because we have just been through a concentrated period of ascertaining a lot of wants. I remember once buying a Valentine’s Day card in the summer because it was just so perfect. The trick for me was to remember where I put it when I needed it 6 months later! I have finally learned and now have a secret ‘stash’ of stuff I collect and I can pull out for occasions like Valentine’s Day.

Again, it is definitely not the card, it is the thought. The card or gift is symbolic, but it also must relate to the event. St. Valentine was sending his ‘love of his life’ a farewell card and signed it, Your Valentine, and it stuck! Eighteen centuries ago this thing started. There must be something pretty good about it to last so long and to still be a significant part of our cultural fabric. So we can embrace this simple but poignant non-legal holiday and use it to focus some true and meaningful thoughts about any and all the people in our lives.

Yep, it may seem a bit silly to some but it is an annual exchange between over 200 million people all over the world so why not make the best of it and participate with genuine care and love. What’s the downside? Pick someone (or lots of someones!) and think of them.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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