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I have ALWAYS loved Valentine’s Day. I love the decorations, I love the silly cards, I love the kitschiness of it all. The blood-sucking marketers out there want you to think otherwise, but for the record- Valentine’s Day is a cheesy, insignificant holiday. However, it does serve as a day to pause and show the people in your life how much you love them and appreciate them. And I guess that IS important. It’s such a shame that so many people get sucked into believing that in order to have a valid Valentine’s Day, you need to drop a lot of money, or go to a fancy restaurant, or do something elaborate to impress a partner or your loved ones. Nooo. Stoppp itttt. Can I just say I would rather stab myself in my eye repeatedly than go to restaurant on Valentine’s Day!? (I’m not the only one that feels that way, right!?)
Mamas, when we take our last breath and leave this world, we won’t remember the fancy dinners, or the elaborate dates. We won’t. What we are really going to remember are the teeny tiny moments that serve to make our hearts whole. While I was growing up my mom worked as a teacher so she had to leave the house early most mornings, but every little holiday like Valentine’s Day, she made sure to do something special for my sister and me. She would tape paper hearts to the bathroom mirror to surprise us. She would pour us milk and add iAmscan 509618 Key to Your Heart Beverage Napkins One Size Multicolor“>Valentine’s Day napkin tucked into our lunch.
Mamas, THAT is what I remember about Valentine’s Day. The love that I got from MY MOM. How utterly powerful is that? And you know WHAT? I honestly cannot conger up one memory of a sexy, hot, super fun Valentine’s Day spent with a partner. I mean, hell, I wish the universe blesses you with HEAPS of this these memories, but I just cannot recall any of them! And I think when we set ourselves up to believe that someone else should be sending us flowers, or making reservations at that new restaurant, we forget about the little ways that we can give and receive love. And to be honest, those have ended up being the biggest things for me. Those are the things that have stayed in my heart.
So girl, I want you to take the bull by the horns and I am working to empower YOU to do everything in your power to have the best Valentine’s Day possible this year. Here are a few simple ways to find the joy in this holiday to help you create a day that is truly filled with love:
Make it what YOU want it to be. We all envision different concepts of what would make our Valentine’s Day super sweet. So, do you really want to go to that cute new restaurant? Then make the effing reservation. Do you want some flowers? Then buy yourself the damn flowers. (You guys I cannot TELL you what happens to my soul when I buy myself flowers. Every once in a blue moon my local Sprouts will have flowers on clearance, and my heart and soul REJOICE when I put them into my cart. Angels sing.)
What I’m saying is, if you have this idea in your head of what you want your Valentine’s Day to be, then you need to work to make that shit happen for yourself. Do NOT WAIT for someone to do it for you. Light some candles, get out the ingredients for a special meal and invite some people over. Do you know how many people out there would love to spend time in your company!? Like, so so many. Me! I would!
Or, simply purchase some Valentine’s Day decorations to liven up your abode. Newsflash: You do NOT need to have a Pinterest worthy home to be able to enjoy yourself this coming V-Day. Just putting a freaking plastic table cloth over my table makes me feel giddy. (If you don’t have time to shop, look here for some super cute V-Day decorations that can make it to your doorstep before the big day.)
Go on a hike, take a class at your gym, try the sip and paint night. There really are so many options out there. Bottom line is though, in order to have a memorable Valentine’s Day you actually have to do the work to decide what you want your today to look like and then you have to remember that you are worthy of enjoying this holiday on your own terms. And then you know what you do, mama? You go tf after it because you deserve it so much.
Give like a mofo. I absolutely love to give to others and I can’t think of a better time to show the people around you your love and appreciation for them than Valentine’s Day! You may think that Valentine’s Day cards are exclusively given to kids and lovers, but I completely disagree. (Again, I’m choosing to make this day what I want it to be!) And when I say give, I don’t mean chocolates or stuffed animals, or handmade cookies, or yet another mindless gift that you hand off and people forget in 2.5 seconds. This year I plan on passing out simple, hand-written notes to the people on my teaching team. Seriously, when is the last time that you got a HAND WRITTEN note?
Write a short, to the point genuine compliment or sentiment on the card and you will make that person’s DAY! You could do this for the other moms at drop-off, the crossing guard that works to get your kids to school safely, or that special neighbor that always brightens your day. Can you imagine that person coming home and putting that special card on their fridge, or up on their mantle? And each time they look at it, it makes them feel special and appreciated? That is SO big, you guys. YOU could do that for someone so easily.
Give your love by striking up a conversation with a new person, or simply smile at a stranger. Let yourself be soft and inviting to the universe instead of keeping your heart and mind to yourself. You have so much love to give, and when you give it, I swear to you, it will come back to you tenfold. (You can also check out these gifts that contribute to a good cause!)
Do the unexpected. People have a tendency to have a lousy Valentine’s Day because they have this idea in their head of what a Valentine’s Day should look like. But as I’ve been saying, in life, you get to decide, girl. Bundle up and grab the marshmallows and chocolate and head outside for a bonfire. Too cold where you are!? Make smores on your stove or in your fireplace! Take 20 minutes to be present with your kids by busting out the board games or Twister. Tell your kids about how it felt when you got to hold them for the first time and the love you experienced in that moment. That’s a heck of a Valentine right there.
Another unexpected idea: teach your children to give to other by working together to donate your time to a local shelter, or work with your kids to clear out their toys to give to Goodwill. (Here is a great article about how to encourage your kids to willingly donate their toys.)
Mama, have an amazing, joy-filled Valentine’s Day by making it exactly what you want it to be. Do something fancy and extra, or reject that completely an go the opposite direction and find your zen in the simplistic. I just hope that you take the time to recognize that this day was meant for you as much as it was made for anyone else. Have a great week and I hope I see you in the check out line getting that gorgeous bouquet of flowers. I’ll be right there with ya, girl.