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Happy Valentine's Day

I think you either love or hate this holiday. I’ve heard the complaint that it was invented by greeting card companies to sell cards. People say that about a lot of holidays and I wonder if it’s actually true of any. I won’t go into too much of the history, but no; it wasn’t created by Hallmark. The Feast of St. Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. In the 14th Century Geoffrey Chaucer associated the day with romantic love, so if anyone’s to blame…I’m just saying. I had to suffer through many, many readings of The Canterbury Tales as an English major, so I have no trouble blaming Chaucer. In fact, let’s blame him for everything we don’t like.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that can be great or terrible depending on your situation. If you’re in a relationship, it can be fun. If you’re not especially very recently not, it’s torture.

I love Valentine’s Day for a few reasons:

1. My husband is very thoughtful, so I always feel very loved and appreciated.

2. I like helping my kids make valentines and valentine boxes.

3. Winter is long and dreary. A pop of red and pink in the midst of all that gray is perfectly timed. Though, in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is the only time pink and red work together.

For those in a relationship, it doesn’t really matter what you do for Valentine’s day as long as you spend some time together. One year, Ryan and I got a sitter and reservations at a fancy restaurant. It was downtown and parking was a nightmare, so we had to walk pretty far in the bitter cold. When we got there, it was clear that they had taken more reservations than they could accommodate. The place was tiny and packed. The tables near ours were maybe 2-3 feet away, so we weren’t just on a date together, we were on a date with that guy who had just smoked a cigarette and that lady with too much perfume, etc. Our server rushed us through a pretty bad dinner of charred steak. The tastiest part of our meal was this doughnut they brought us at the end the meal which was just a canned biscuit, fried and sugared. And it to top it all off, it was very expensive.

The following year, we went to a hole in the wall pizza joint as a double date with my sister and her husband and had an absolute blast. So, I guess it’s silly to overthink Valentine's Day. Maybe we should just use this day to tell those we love that we love them and stop trying to making it perfect.

This year, we plan to have an early dinner at a restaurant close by that we already know and love. Then, we're going to come home and spend time with our kids who also love Valentine's Day.

I hope you are in a place where this red and pink day in the middle of the winter brings you joy and love. I hope you share it with those around you. I hope you know you are loved more than you can fathom by your Heavenly Father who Himself is love.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Shannon