Is it just me, or does it seem to be trendy to hate and/or "poo-poo" Valentine's Day? I'm going on record right now to say that I like it.
And it's not just because I'm married. Sure, being married makes Valentine's even more fun (*wink, wink*), but I'm one of those who liked it even before I got married. When I was all alone. Not even dating anybody.
First off - candy hearts. Sure, they are chalky, but there is just something comforting about sitting down with a bag of candy hearts and a cup of tea (they are really good with tea).
Maybe this hearkens back to my childhood - as Valentine's approached my mom would always pick up a bag of candy hearts on our grocery shopping trips, and we would all snack on them on the way home. She knew how to pick the good ones too - not the ones that were rock hard, but the ones that just crumbled the second they hit your teeth. A skill she has thankfully passed down to me.
Speaking of childhood, I loved getting all those little paper valentines with different characters on them. My mom would always let us each pick a box of Valentine's for our classmates - first for school, then after we started homeschooling, for our Bible Study classmates.
The ones I picked that I remember most had different pictures of cute teddy bears on them. I remember sorting through them all and making sure to give all the generic, non-love-related messages to the boys . . . unless there happened to be one I liked. Then I was careful to evaluate the messages on each valentine and choose the one that seemed to fit him the best. Over-analyzer, much? Maybe, but it was fun. And I would always keep the ones from the boys I liked, even if they had given me one of the generic, non-love-related ones. I was kind of bummed when I grew up more and giving valentines to everyone was no longer the thing to do.
My parents would usually get us a little something on Valentine's Day. One year we got teddy bears. We got candy a few times. I think we even got a new Adventures In Odyssey set once (this was a big deal). Just small things, but it was enough to make the day fun. My brother and sister and I would sit down and make valentines out of construction paper for everyone in our family, and we would all exchange them at mealtime. Even when I knew I wouldn't get anything from any boy, I knew I could count on something from my parents and siblings.
And honestly, I never did receive an honest-to-goodness valentine from a guy. Until I started dating Derek. He showed up at my hygiene school with a bunch of flowers and a big teddy bear, and all my classmates told me he was a keeper. I, of course, already knew that - I had his ring on my finger by then!
Let's see, what else . . .
Hallmark movies! Cheesy, romantic Hallmark movies. I still like them today.
Now that I have kiddos, I like pinning a ridiculous amount of valentine ideas for them to give to their little pals. I like pulling out the construction paper and continuing the tradition of handmade valentines for family members. I like the pink and red everywhere, I like the hearts, I like seeing men buying flowers for the ladies in their lives.
Valentine's Day can be cheesy. But I think I am probably a little cheesy myself. Maybe I'm more of a romantic at heart than I ever labeled myself.
But I do.
I like Valentine's Day.
Hoping each of you has a great one with all the people you love!