I know..I know...it is all cool and hip to bash Hallmark holidays, like Valentine’s Day for example. You know, the whole they’re “cheesy, contrived, made-up occasions” routine. Or if not bash, at a minimum ignore them and flaunt your ignoring of them as much as possible.
So I’m going to fully own my uncoolness here by declaring that I love Valentines Day.
I embrace and hold onto this holiday fully. Why do you ask? Because life is too full of things to not celebrate, like sickness, natural disasters, career disappointments, overwhelming to-do lists, horrid traffic and people who cut you off in traffic. So when there is a chance to celebrate something, anything, I’m there. I don’t care how made up it is. And if that makes me appear all puppy dogs tails and rainbows and unicorns (Its a New Day...yes it is!) so be it.
So maybe giving someone a little white teddy bear with a red shiny heart chocolate box attached to it is not the truest expression of genuine love. I get that.
But you know what is? Not-hate.
In this tumultuous world of constant negativity -- we need so much more not-hate. If we could all take a day and give each other little teddy bears with chocolate-filled hearts, we would spread so much not-hate.
And you know what people do when they feel not-hate?
They express not-hate towards others. They help each other. They empower each other. They solve problems, fix up schools, invent cures for diseases, discover new planets, and a way to get there without traffic. People who feel not-hate also don’t cut you off in traffic; they’re the ones waving you through as you cut them off. They don’t mind because they feel not-hate, because someone, I hope, probably gave them a little teddy bear for Valentine’s Day and therefore had a smile on their face.
A few weeks ago, as I am sure yours was too -- my various social media feeds were filled with Powerball stories. They all said the same thing: Some people might win a ton of money, but don’t be jealous, they won’t be happy anyway because money doesn’t make you happy. Truth, right there, money doesn’t make you happy. Neither does reading endless articles about how money won’t make you happy.
Instead, I want more articles in my feed about a woman who races across town to get her friend’s favorite flowers for Valentine’s Day, gets to the flower shop as it’s closing, but the owner lets her buy a bunch anyway.
I want scientific studies about the average size of smiles people experience when given a teddy bear with a chocolate-filled heart attached. I want my various social feeds to be filled with photos of 95 year-olds having romantic dinners and 5 year-olds exchanging Valentine’s. I seriously can not wait to see this in the classroom that I work in; even though there is a lot of hostility at this present moment.
Give me more Instagram or YouTube videos where the husband attempts to make scallops for the first time because they are his wife’s favorite.
I say lean into Valentine’s Day. Really go for it.
Text your friends an overwhelming number of heart emoji.
Write a card to someone you like or love -- and there are plenty of hip Valentine’s cards to be had, so you can keep your coolness and spread non-hate, bonus! The one I love the most is getting an extra special card but due to circumstances beyond our control, it will be a while before he will receive it. That is alright though. It does not matter the time when you give your loved ones a gift as long as you do it with the right intention!
Send a box of books and literary trinkets that you know will make your nerdy BFF swoon.
Buy someone a teddy bear with a heart-full of chocolates.
Because you never know when your cheesy “Hey, happy Valentine’s Day, haha!” text is the very thing your friend needs, the very thing that helps them feel less lonely on a day when the world seems cruel and hope is hard to find. Or if your card makes someone smile, or gives them a break from feeling pain, sadness, boredom, or worry.
Thing is, it’s all just about love. Isn't that what it is all about?
This whole thing, our whole crazy world, with our overwhelming to-do lists and worries, our fears, and our achievements, it’s really all just about the love. All love, not just romantic love, although that one is nice too.
And the best way to get it is to give it. To be reminded that you’re not alone, that there is someone in your life to whom you’d like to send a heart emoji, or a “Let’s Ignore Valentine’s Day Together” card, or a $5.95 small teddy bear with a red heart full of chocolates attached to it.
I know I want one :)
Happy Love Day everyone. Here is a teddy bear with a red heart just for you -- my faithful readers.