Thursday, February 14, 2013

Traditions


Back when I was single, I hated Valentine's Day with a passion. What a lousy excuse for a holiday, I always thought -- as if couples really needed one more excuse to gush and we single people really needed one more giant blazing sign to remind us that we were alone and left out. I had other single friends who felt the same way. We did our best to make something positive out of the day, going out to dinner together and often giving each other small gifts. Still, I was always happy to put the day behind me on the fifteenth.


After I met my husband, I was determined not to forget what Valentine's Day was like for me before I was married. We soon made a tradition of having our big date on another night (when it was easier to get a table, anyway) and inviting single friends over for dinner on the actual holiday. It was a fun way to spend the evening, and I was happy to help my single friends get through what was a really difficult day for some of them.


This year we don't happen to have anyone coming over, but I was telling my husband this week that I want to keep our tradition of celebrating Valentine's Day as a family holiday. Today has been full of Valentine making, cookie decorating, and little girls twirling in their pink ballerina dresses. I'm learning more every day about how much of my joy is found in making happiness for others rather than trying to find it for myself, and that's something I want to pass on to my daughters as well. As we go through the years ahead of helping our girls grow up into young women and all the emotional issues that will be involved with that, I hope they will always remember that love isn't something they have to go looking for. It's something they can share with those around them, and something they will always have here with us.

"I have found the paradox," said Mother Teresa, "that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

Happy Valentine's Day.

11 comments:

  1. Gosh, I still don't have any strong love of valentines day - even married. I don't know why - it's just a regular day for us. No hoopla. I forgot it even was today - cooking a crockpot meal for dinner which is not at all fancy. I love my husband, but don't like roses, I'm allergic to (milk) chocolate and hate cherries and PDA. I like how you are making it a family day - I love cookies lol. I'm sure your daughters appreciate their twirly dresses and family time :) Happy Valentine's Day!

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  2. I couldn't agree with you more! Besides I would rather have my husband send me flowers or something on a random day...not when blasted by commercialism to do so!

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  3. Wow, what a beautiful thought! I don't really go overboard for the day...I don't like the expense and hype. I want to love and be loved on a daily basis. I did work with my children to make some oragami hearts to give to the single people we know here at the school...I think giving is a good habit to cultivate and so I guess that part of Valentine's day will always be something to embrace. I love your idea of spending it with others...not just as a couple.

    Tonight, we are having a sleepover...I have 3 boys instead of 1. =)

    Hope you had a lovely day.

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  4. Great thoughts, Heidi! I love your idea of continuing to celebrate with friends and thoughtfully remembering what it was like when you were single. I got flowers this year, but the last thing I wanted to do was plaster pictures of them all over Facebook. I struggle too much with people rubbing their relationships and marriages and everything in everyone else's faces to want to do that to other women! Sometimes, Facebook is a really horrible thing, especially if you're "behind" everyone else.

    It is, after all, a holiday about love, and I think a broader definition, as you've chosen to do, is a beautiful thing! Yay for loving romantic partners, friends, kids, and family!

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  5. I agree, it was painful when I was single, and now it's another day to remember how lucky we are with the ones we love, all of them : )

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  6. I love the idea of valentines day but the practice has always lacked. My hubby has never bought me valentines flowers (despite my prompting) I'd even take a flower from the garden gleefully. But I got home from work this year to 5 pink roses. They are beautiful. But I did remember to message my single friends a valentine.

    I really love your idea that love only comes when you give it away. The more you give and show the more you receive. Mother Teresa was a visionary woman. Let's all hope for more love and less hurt for next valentines day.

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  7. Ah what lovely thoughts and so true. I'm the same, now I'm married it's more about my family, and helping my daughter make a card for her daddy. It's so cute and she just loved giving it to him. It sounds like you had a great crafty day with your girls too :-)

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  8. What a wonderful perspective. Thanks for sharing it with us! It looks like you had a great day full of love <3.

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  9. I couldn't agree more! We went out for dinner the night beforehand and then my husband spent valentines evening putting together our new bathroom cabinets while i watched The Good Wife - very romantic! :o) Lovely flowers

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Aren't you the sweetest!! Thanks for making my day by leaving a comment!

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