It's that time of year again - Valentine's Day. Midway through February, when it's dark and cold, the red and pink lace doilies appear, along with copious amounts of chocolate and pink and red greeting cards festooned with roses.
I used to be one of those people who didn't like Valentine's Day. I won't say I hated it; "hate" is a very strong word and to full of energy to waste on something so insignificant as Valentine's Day. I thought of it as an excuse for the confectioners and Hallmark card makers to make a little extra cash. And worse, everything was pink. I really didn't like pink.
I never saw the point to it all, though I'd received Valentine's from my mother and grandmother since I was a little girl (I think it helped that I was the ONLY girl born in my family's current generation). Without a boyfriend or a significant other of any kind, it was stupid to waste so much money and time on paper and candy.
I only started to like Valentine's Day after I met my husband. He loves the excuse to get me something he knows I'll like and I find I look forward to it just to see what creative thing he'll come up with to delight me. I also like the opportunity to find something special for him; something I think he'll like or be intrigued by, as an expression of the love I feel for him.
We rarely give each other chocolate or roses, though he has the romantic side of him that almost demands he gives me flowers of one kind or another, though not always on Valentine's Day. The first year we were together, he bought me two silver rings with Celtic knots in their designs. I did a big no-no and bought him a heavy gold bracelet. It's a big no-no because we'd only been together for four months at that point and the bracelet was a very expensive gift to give so early.
To his credit, he accepted it graciously. And we didn't break up, so it all worked out. ;)
Another year, he gave me a dire wolf (Canis dirus) skull replica from Bone Clones (http://www.boneclones.com/)because I needed a comparison specimen for my Master's thesis on fossil canids. Last year, I have him a Magyar (Hungarian) bow because he's Hungarian, the same kind prevalently used by Attila the Hun and currently imported by Seven Meadows Archery (http://sevenmeadowsarchery.com/Home.html).
This year, we decided to celebrate a day early because Mondays are busy and neither of us wanted to try to compete with the crowds in Vegas restaurants. I gave him some coffee from Raven's Brew Coffee and a little chocolate (www.ravensbrew.com) and he gave me two new romance novels (furthering my addiction; see the post January 21st). Tonight, we're planning a quiet celebration of a good dinner, candlelight, Molten Lava Cakes for dessert and cuddling on the couch while watching a movie.
Valentine's Day for me is now a way for me to express the love I have for my husband in creative ways that I know he'll like. I suppose that's what it's always been, but it always felt like a commercial for candy and pink. Spend money to show your love. It took my fairly romantic husband to show me the real message behind the day of showing the one you love how much by finding true gifts to give.
I hope your Valentine's Day becomes a day of making wonderful memories and offering the very best of your love to your significant other and loved ones. Happy Valentine's Day!