"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." ~ Charles M. Schulz
My birthday is today, Valentine's Day. I've teased over the years that I was shortchanged having my birthday on a major holiday because my parents and sweethearts wanted to combine "two small presents into one big present." I wanted two big presents! I've loved sharing my birthday with Valentine's Day. In grade school we would decorate shoes boxes with hearts cut out of red construction paper and white-laced paper doilies. Our "Valentine's mailbox" was put on the top of our desk and called out to be filled with Valentine's card and candy hearts from our classmates. The whole experience felt like one big birthday celebration to me.
I guess that is why I have enjoyed Valentine's Day when so many other people rebelled against the holiday despairing that it was 1) a reminder that they lacked a sweetheart or 2) that it was a holiday created by Hallmark and 1-800-flowers. Men complain that the expectations surrounding Valentine's Day demands that they come up with a grand romantic gesture that is costly and beyond their emotional commitment while women find their expectations dashed as husbands and lovers complain about having to "come through" for a made up holiday.
Life is all about expectation and if the expectations about Valentine's Day are making you sad, change them. Valentine's Day can be a day of love but must it only involve one's sweetheart? Share a special lunch with your dad or find the perfect Valentine's Day card for your mom? How about baking cupcakes with your nephew or grandmother? Love is not limited to one person. You and your friends can plan a special dinner with Champagne, chocolates and helium balloons hanging from the ceiling. Make Valentine's Day reflect who you are and share your love with all those you care about in your life.