It's here. My favorite (sarcasm) holiday: Valentine's day. Worst. Holiday. Ever. While my sentiments toward this wretched day are shared by many, the bitterness more than likely spurs from completely different spectrums. You see, most people despise the day because it reminds them that they are alone.
I, however, view this "holiday" with disdain for a much simpler reason; a reason that has perplexed me for years. It all boils down to this: why must we choose only one day a year to shower others with affection? I mean, isn't it a tad ridiculous that we are fostering a culture that explicitly states we must schedule time for romance (or just love in general)? It also reinforces that lackluster daily efforts are acceptable, as long as you do it extra huge on the BIG day. So wait, you only have to "love" others one day a year? Hmm. Shouldn't our culture encourage its citizens to love one another ALL the time? Just a thought.
Dave and I agreed not to "celebrate." I mean, the guy shows he loves me every day (in multitude), so how would it be different anyway? Ya see, Dave's a bit of a romantic (moreso than I, admittedly) and I adore that about him. He's also a big surpriser. His most recent surprise involved me ending up in an airport blindfolded, wearing headphones (so our whereabouts would be secret) and completely out of my element. Aside me looking like a blundering idiot in front of hundreds of people, the surprise was nothing less than smashing. But that's another story. Anyhoo, back to the point, specifying a day for love isn't necessary in our relationship.
I'm not, however, suggesting that Valentine's day be omitted from society altogether, maybe just shift the motive. How wonderful would it be if we lived in a world where people spread their love for others EVERY DAY...particularly for those with whom they wouldn't normally cross paths. Rummaging for do-good giving, I came up with some pretty cool ways to enhance the lives of others. Of course, you can always volunteer for local non-profits, visit nursing homes and do countless things within your community, there are a few options if you're wanting to get a bit more worldly. Take the Flowers to Care program, started by the Monkey Flower Group in Napa. The program allows you to donate $20 for a flower arrangement, which is then sent to individuals in need.
Another fabulous opportunity to spread some love would be participating in a micro-loan initiative, like Care for Kenya. An organization that helps disadvantaged women and children by providing a means of reliable and substantial income, Care for Kenya, has a PLETHORA of projects to support. Several of the projects are extraordinarily fun and follow the emerging trend of ethical business practices.
Regardless of the method to your madness, I hope you think of V-day a bit differently than most this year. A little love goes a long way...and yours could make a huge difference in someone's day (or life).
My love and I. Photo cred to Evan French