Valentine's Day keeps evolving
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017 03:30 pm
As I wrote out the date ďFebruary 14Ē a number of times of the past week, once being on the cover of this issue of the St. Paul Journal, I got to thinking back to how Valentineís Day has a way of evolving and changing, as people evolve and change over their lifetime.
As a child, Valentineís Day had a certain innocence about it. I distinctly remember making heart-shaped pouches that would hold approximately however many kids were in my elementary class, plus a few extras. It was exciting to go through that pouch, open up the sealed envelopes, and inspect each of the small cards.
Having two boys of my own, Iím pretty sure the excitement of Valentineís Day is a little lost on them. Itís still a fun day, spent with friends, but they likely are much more excited about the candy and chocolate that often comes home with the cards, rather than the cards themselves.
And yes, just like many holidays and celebrations, Valentineís Day has been over commercialized. But done right, I think the day can hold meaning, and offer a families, couples, and even friends, a moment to slow down, enjoy a nice meal, and appreciate what is in front of us.
As a teenager, the somewhat ugly side of Valentineís Day tends to rear its head. Itís easy to feel left out or lonely when others are feeling showered in attention and affection. And Valentineís Day can amplify those negative feelings. But it can also give young people an opportunity to do good, to show they care, and remind others that they are not alone.
I donít believe that Valentineís Day has to be about love in the traditional sense, although it clearly is founded in that idea. Love comes in so many forms, and I see no wrong in celebrating love, for all itís worth.
I think my most memorable Valentineís Day came as a teenager, when my now-husband and I started dating. He surprised me with tickets to a concert, flowers, and more. Fourteen years later, I am pretty sure he wonít be making a huge effort like that any time soon, and thatís not a bad thing.
Given that weíve been together for well over a decade now, our relationship has changed, and itís just as meaningful (and important in our day-to-day living) that we do smaller acts, like clean up and make supper, and offer support in other ways (that thankfully donít involve breaking the bank).
Our kids are now often the focus of our Valentineís Day celebrations. Right now, the day gives us another chance to spend a little extra time together as a family.
Iím sure in a few years, as our boys get into those awkward teenage years, our focus on Valentineís Day will once again shift. Maybe we will revert back to concerts, flowers, and dates for a while, until yet another stage of life comes along and shifts the focus elsewhere.