February 14th. Valentine's Day, the day of love! It's such a simple day with a sweet message, yet every year we hear about the woes of those who simply do not want to celebrate this day or those who cry "foul!" because this holiday was made up by Hallmark.
I've been that person... the cynic. She who rolled her eyes at this very day. Kind of awesome considering I write romance, but sometimes it takes the right person to come along and make you realize that this day is simply that: Just a day. A day that can be celebrated without attachment to the meaning, a day that is about love and sharing the love. Honestly, with all that I've seen in the past year, this world that we live in could use a little more love in it, don't you think?
If you're struggling in your own effort to plan the perfect day, here are few of my own ideas - or they could also be the keys to my heart, but I'll let you decide.
Dinner and a movie is always a winner! This one is a no-brainer. It's tried and true, and one of my own favorite ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. Personally, I think curling up with your loved one, a movie and a pizza (gluten free, please) are the tops but define this one on your own terms.
Now about that movie...
Picking out your Valentine's Day film could turn into an ordeal, but with a little forethought, you can make sure everyone is happy. How you ask? Easy - you each get to pick a movie. Ta-da! Talk about commitment, am I right? How many times has your partner tried to get you to watch Robocop, AGAIN, or how many times have you hinted that this Sunday afternoon would be the perfect time to watch Sweet Home Alabama one more time? Take advantage of this day while also making both of you happy. Pizza and a movie... can't beat it!
Another sweet sentiment, that is fast becoming a forgotten art, is the handwritten letter. Why not take a few moments to put your pen to paper (not your fingers to the keyboard) and write a note for that special someone? Let them know how you feel about them, why they are so special to you, and share your feelings. Don't text, don't call. Write it out, put it an envelope and mail it. Guaranteed smiles all around!
Some of you may be reading this and crying foul. "Where are the chocolates?" you ask. "Where's my Whitman's Sampler in my heart-shaped box?" Well, I'll tell you: It's at the store where it will stay. Come on! If you're going to say I love you, put a little elbow grease into it. I'm not the kind of gal who likes to sweat, but if I do I want to be in the kitchen baking. I'm gluten free and I totally get down with some gluten free baking - it's a challenge to me. My husband isn't gluten free, but he is my main taste-tester so if I can get a recipe approved by his finicky taste buds, I know we're "sweet as" - as they say here in New Zealand. So, come folks, get out your favorite recipes, dust off those cookbooks or fire up that Pinterest page, and get to baking. After all the way to a man's (or anyone's ) heart is through the stomach.
Valentine's Day can take on any meaning we want or need it to be. My advice is to make it yours, not matter what you do. It doesn't matter what you do, whether it's you and your friends toasting the day over a glass of wine or if you're lighting the candles for a romantic dinner for two, as long as you enjoy it, you mean it and, above all else... you are happy.