Every year my Facebook Newsfeed gets peppered with complaints about Valentine’s Day and how stupid it is to participate in a Hallmark holiday. I refer to these people as Valentine’s Scrooges. As a romantic at heart, even in my single days, I have always loved Valentine’s Day. It should be more than candy, flowers and chocolate. This day of love isn’t just for those in a relationship but represents something bigger than that.
Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day was not created by a greeting card company. It actually stems back to the year 498 AD when Pope Gelasius named February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day after one of three martyred saints.
The first recorded Valentine was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his beloved wife, while he was imprisoned. The holiday was celebrated through the 17th and 18th centuries but really gained traction in the 1840’s when Esther Howland came up with the idea of sending “Valentines” to all of her friends. The original Valentines were hand-made creations of lace and ribbon, designed with thought and love for family and friends.
Today Valentine’s Day is very much a commercial holiday and this can be seen by the thousands of products that are sold at nearly every store this time of year; teddy bears, flowers, chocolates, jewelry etc. I’m absolutely not against gift giving, but Valentine’s Day means more than the commercialized holiday that it has become.
The day of love is just that- a day of love! It is a reminder to send love to all of your family and friends. Yes, we should do this all the time. Guess what! We don’t. We have jobs, school, house work, kids, and the list of responsibilities goes on and on. We forget to send love to all of the people that matter.
Valentine’s Day is a reminder to reach out to those that matter and tell them how much we love them. You don’t have to buy a card, chocolates or a teddy bear to do that. Send a text message, make a phone call or hand make a card!
Remember elementary school, when we decorated boxes and brought Valentine’s with sweet messages for every classmate? Valentine’s Day should be treated the same way as we become adults. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, we all have friends and family. In addition to showing your significant other some love, tell your friends and family how important they are. Don’t be a Valentine’s Day Scrooge this year! Share the love!