(I was going to write something about Valentine’s Day, and in going through some old posts on the subject found this one, which says all the same things I’d want to say this year, so I’ll repost it. I’m combining it with another post in which I had some Valentine links.)
Valentine’s Scrooges. That was the only term I could come up with for those whose comments I have seen here and there who despise Valentine’s Day. And I had to add the little smiley so it wouldn’t sound like I was ranting.
I don’t mind Valentine’s indifference… didn’t grow up celebrating it much, hadn’t thought about it, not a big deal…that’s understandable. But why would anyone hate it, and not just hate it in their own hearts, but feel compelled to rain on everyone else’s parade by forcibly and publicly saying so?
“It’s too commercial.” Well, sure, but like Christmas, you can be as commercial or uncommercial as you want in your own personal celebration. But don’t look down on store-bought cards or restaurant rather than home-made goodies. Not everyone has the time or confidence or bent to “make” things.
“I don’t need a man-made holiday to show my wife I love her.” Well, good for you. I’m sure she appreciates that. ( = not ranting!)
“We should show love every day.” True. (This is what I’ve heard most this year.) We should also give thanks every day, but it’s helpful to have a day focused on it at Thanksgiving. We should remember and be glad for the Resurrection at least every Sunday, but it’s wonderful to especially commemorate it at Easter. We should be thankful for our friends and loved ones every day, but it’s nice to especially let them know on their birthdays or anniversaries. Those special, focused celebrations can remind us of what we should be thinking and feeling every day and spur us on. And that’s how I look at Valentine’s Day. I love my dear ones all the time, but it’s fun on this special day to celebrate love even more.
By “celebrate,” I don’t necessarily mean go all out. We’ve always exchanged cards. Some years ago I got some heart-shaped cupcake pans, and Valentine cupcakes became a tradition.
Most years that’s all we have done, with maybe some candy for the kids. My husband has frequently brought me candy and flowers on Valentine’s Day. One year I did a Valentine scavenger hunt for the kids, with little clues on half-hearts — they had to find the other half to get their treat. They loved that and wanted to do it again the next year, but it was too hard to keep coming up with clues. Another year I was inspired to make a garland out of heart doilies, but I don’t know what happened to it. I have a heart-shaped wreath by the front door. Nothing major or expensive — just little tokens of the day. We don’t go out to eat on that day — too crowded. I think I have usually tried to make a special meal that day, but it is only in the last few years I’ve tried to make a Valentine-themed meal like Crescent Heart-Topped Lasagna Casserole
or Li’l Cheddar Meat Loaves shaped like hearts:
(Though the boys did tease that the red sauce on the heart meat loaves looked too anatomically correct🙄 :)). And I’m inclined to play some of my favorite sappy love songs while working in the kitchen that day (usually Chanson d’amour by The King’s Singers). We’ve always celebrated it as a family rather than leaving the kids with sitters while we go off for a romantic time (nothing wrong with doing that sometimes — we do on anniversaries).
I do understand Valentine’s Day being harder if you’re single with no prospects in sight. I do remember those days. But still, harsh and bitter comments regarding Valentine’s Day aren’t exactly endearing, you know? Some good articles about from singles about singleness on Valentine’s Day are Sweet Sadness and St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day Single? No Problem, Seriously, Reaching Out on Valentine’s Day, A Toast to the Best Valentine’s Day Yet, and a couple on singleness but not related to Valentine’s Day: I don’t wait any more and Renegotiating My Seat in God’s House.
An equally disturbing attitude regarding Valentine’s Day was this comment I saw somewhere: “He better get me flowers, or else!” That’s not particularly loveable, either. Valentine’s is about showing love, not sitting back with arms folded, foot tapping, seeing if he is going to “measure up.” I heard an excellent talk some years ago by Gregg Harris: I don’t remember what the overall talk was about, but what stuck with me was the encouragement not to use anniversaries and special occasions as a “test,” but rather to help him to remember (rather than getting mad at him for forgetting) and discussing whether and how you’d both like to commemorate. A Different Approach to Valentine’s Day explores that further.
All in all, in the grand scheme of life and eternity, it doesn’t matter if you celebrate a particular day or not. “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it” (Romans 14:5-6a). But as for me and my house, we enjoy celebrating holidays. Well, maybe not Groundhog’s Day, President’s Day, etc. But Valentine’s Day is one of my favorites.
Here are some of my favorite Valentine’s-flavored links, quotes, etc. – not all of them are specifically Valentiney, but they can be applied.
To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet.
How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barret Browning.
The Blue Robe by Wendell Berry.
They Sit Together on the Porch by Wendell Berry.
The Blue Bowl by Blanche Bane Kuder.
O, Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robert Burns.
St .Valentine’s Day by Edgar Guest.
Teamwork by Richard Armour:
A splendid team, my wife and I:
She washes dishes, and I dry.
I sometimes pass her back a dish
To give another cleansing swish.
She sometimes holds up to the light
A glass I haven’t dried just right.
But mostly there is no complaint,
Or it is courteous and faint,
For I would never care to see
The washing job consigned to me,
And though the things I dry still drip,
She keeps me for companionship.
From Odgen Nash:
To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it.
Whenever you’re right, shut up.
- From Jane Eyre: “To be together is for us to be at once as free as solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking.”
- “A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason, and, indeed, all the sweets of life.” –Joseph Addison.
- “Marriage with a good woman is a harbour in the tempest of life; with a bad woman, it is a tempest in the harbour.” — J.P. Senn
- From A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens: “”You anticipate what I would say, though you cannot know how earnestly I say it, how earnestly I feel it, without knowing my secret heart, and the hopes and fears and anxieties with which it has long been laden. Dear Doctor Manette, I love your daughter fondly, dearly, disinterestedly, devotedly. If ever there were love in the world, I love her. . . .”
“All I Ask of You”:
“My Heart Will Go On” as sung by the Irish Tenors:
“When You Say You Love Me”
Pearls of wisdom from Grandpa on having a long, happy marriage:
Whether a man winds up with the nest egg or a goose egg depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries.
Too many couples marry for better or for worse, but not for good.
When a man marries a woman, they become one. The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.
Trouble in marriage also often starts when a man gets so busy earning his salt that he forgets his sugar.
If a man has enough “horse sense” to treat his wife like a thoroughbred, she will never be an old nag.
And so I wish all of my bloggy friends a very Happy Valentine’s Day!