Valentine's Day has always given me mixed feelings. I loved the holiday in elementary, because we would exchange Valentine themed goodies and treats, decorate the class and have a red, pink and white themed party. It was a holiday right next to Christmas and Halloween that I looked forward to with impatience throughout the year. I chose my outfit in advance to make sure that it corresponded with the holiday. I ensured that my each card had a message unique to every person, and that each candy was secure within it. When the big day came, I was ready, armed with treats and determined to hand them out as if I was some sort of candy cupid.

With time and the lack of classroom candy swaps, my perspective on the holiday has definitely changed. While I don’t morph into some sort of Valentine’s Day version of Scrooge who yells, “Bahumlove!” to all of the couples I see, or avoid anything remotely Valentine-like – this would be almost impossible since the majority of the items I own are pink or red – my feelings are pretty neutral towards the holiday. If anything, the 15th is my favourite day this month because of all the chocolate that will be on sale. But see, within my last remark lies my whole problem with Valentine’s day. After so many years of seeing people struggling to find the perfect gifts for their partners, movies about people finding true love on this day and the seemingly endless pink, red and white themed aisles in almost every store, I thought that this date was only reserved for those who have found their perfect other half, which can elicit some Scrooge-like behaviour in even the most loving of people.

Somewhere along the way, somewhere between the days in elementary when I would exchange cards with everyone and we would get all dolled up, and now when the only thing that I really look forward to is the half priced chocolate, I’ve lost the “Valentine’s Day Spirit”. I let myself get caught up in all of the hype and material things that come with the promotion of this holiday that I forgot that it is in fact a holiday. It is a day of celebration, a celebration of love in all of it forms. Whether you have found The One, have a few someones that you love to hang out with at school, or only have two people whose one great joy was raising you, Valentine’s Day is the time to be a bit creative in telling and showing those around you (including yourself) that you care.

I guess that my elementary school teachers were trying to teach us a lesson when they would allow us to spend the day celebrating and playing with our classmates. They were trying to show us how the Valentine’s isn’t really about all of the intricately designed chocolates, the cute cards or the festive colors, it is about the people and making them feel good special on this day. In retrospect, my best memories aren’t of the receiving the cards or having my mother let me eat all of the chocolate that I got, it was the feeling of finally getting home at the end of the school day, dumping a mountain of cards out of my bag and reading every single one of them with a big smile on my face. It was seeing my friends the next day and having them hug me and thank me for what I had written in their card, and knowing that all of my hard work hadn’t been in vain. So, this year I’m going to try and recreate this feeling again, whether it’s getting my sister a stuffed animal, or giving my parents some cards. Maybe, I’ll give my friends some chocolate, or even just treating myself  to a special cup of tea and a croissant, either way if it makes someone smile it makes Valentine’s Day worthwhile.


Alexandra :)

P.S. Get a headstart on spreading the love by downloading these templates for Valentine's cards (they look like the one above)! Click here for the template with words in the background and click here for the one without. Simply download  and save the picture, then print it  and write your message or, open it up in photoshop and type it up.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?