My husband has his own personal philosophy about Valentine’s. His feeling is that once you are married, you don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day anymore because married couples get anniversaries to celebrate. As horrified as I was that he felt that way when we were newlyweds, I have really come to the point of agreeing with him about 90% on this. It has been a process for me to get to this place of compromise, though. Take for instance the year my hubby sent me an e-card.
And, that was it.
And, it came 2 days before Valentine’s.
Sadly, I got all excited because I thought that this was like his Valentine’s appetizer for me, and he was going way beyond his normal effort for the holiday-o-love. Nope. To make matters worse, when I got upset (and this was pretty upset because I was prego with Caroline at the time) he tried to “make-up” for it with a past-its-bloom Camellia from our front yard and a lame-o homemade card. Don’t get me wrong, homemade cards rock, but not when they are scribbled by a grown-up man in the space of a minute. Lame-o. After he emerged from the doghouse, we came to an agreement. We did not have to do all the flowers and hooplah. I would settle for a Richard-made dinner and a Hallmark card. Homemade cards would be acceptable if they showed considerable effort and thought. Shakespearean love sonnets, diamond dust glued to the edges, you get the idea…Not to have you thinking ill of my man, let me just share with you that two years ago Chef Ricardo prepared for me cornish hens with an orange glaze, and this year he sent me a tower of chocolates because he was going to be out of town on business. Funny enough, the less emphasis we have put on this holiday, the more we tend to celebrate it. Maybe it was just too much pressure to perform amazing feats of romance that had my husband stalled in the gate. (I doubt that, he really thinks it’s just plain silly)
Seriously, I think we embrace it more now because instead of being told to celebrate love because it’s a specific day of the year, we just do it because we want to! Of course, since he was out-of-town this year my February 14th celebration consisted of chopping 10 pounds of fruit and serving it to my kindergartener’s and then my 4th grader’s classes. And, teaching them the hand jive and freeze-dancing to Justin Bieber and the BeeGees. It’s a different kind of love, but love just the same. And, trust me, if Justin Bieber is involved, it is some sacrificial love. (please take no offense, Bieber fans, it’s just that the 1000th time of “Baby, Baby, Baby, ooohhh” is, well, the 1000th time!)
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which way we prefer to celebrate the special people in our lives on Valentine’s, we are called to demonstrate love to all people everyday. Showing the world the heart of Christ everyday by putting hands and feet to His love in us. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)