I am not a “holiday” kinda gal.
I am not talking about vacations… vacations are very different.
I am talking Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Years Eve etc.
*Insert horrified gasps of readers*
I have put forth substantial effort over the past several years to get myself out of this holiday funk:
- I decorated my house for Christmas (I almost bought a Christmas tree—progress!)
- I listened to Christmas music (not by force)
- I stayed up until midnight on New Years Eve
- I even cooked a turkey this year guys… I cooked an entire turkey!
Despite my best efforts, I still usually end up in tears.
I am making peace with myself about this whole thing… I don’t love holidays. It’s okay. Everybody will get over it. Life will go on. No one is going to die if I don’t buy a Christmas tree.
Now that that rant is over, I have a confession to make:
I FREAKING LOVE VALENTINES DAY!
10 years ago I was not this way, oh no. I was once a real bummer when it came to Valentine’s Day.
10 years ago I had no husband, no boyfriend, and not enough funds to send myself flowers to at least give off the allusion of a boyfriend. Yes, I was down in the dumps, which is how it all started.
On Valentine’s Day of 2008, I volunteered to babysit for my friend’s Joel and Naomi. Their daughter was still really little, and I figured it would be nice for them to have a romantic night out. I figured if I wasn’t getting any romance, at least someone should.
Naomi and Joel assured me that Valentine’s Day was no big deal to them. I believe their exact words were “we will probably just be eating cold pizza out of the box if you don’t come over.” Alas, I insisted they take the opportunity to use my sweet free babysitting skills to their advantage and go on a date.
I arrived at their house in fine child-minding form, and noticed immediately neither one of them looked ready to go out on a hot date. As I walked further into the house I quickly realized Naomi had decorated the whole house in Valentine’s decor. I looked at Naomi bewildered, before she bursted out, “SURPRISE!”
This marked the first of what became annual Valentine’s Day parties.
As the years went on, and Naomi and Joel’s family grew, the parties became more elaborate and more thoughtfully/ridiculously themed.
We began taking Valentine’s Day so seriously that when Giddy and I got married, Naomi’s “Maid of Honour” speech contained an agreement where Giddy could have me every other day of the year, but Valentine’s Day is ours. Don’t worry, he’s invited of course… but we needed to make sure he knew where our priorities were at.
This year is our 10th Annual Valentine’s Day. We decided the theme will be “Awards Show.” Our goal was to create something comparable to “The Dundies” rather than “The Oscars.” “I feel God in this Chili’s tonight” was quoted several times throughout the evening.
I imagine that I treat Valentine’s Day in a similar way some people treat Christmas. I have found a security in Valentine’s Day; it has become a consistent in my life.
Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving are often spent being invited into other people’s families and traditions. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate every family who has graciously welcomed me in, but regardless, I am always left feeling as if I’m on the outside looking in.
Valentine’s Day is the one holiday I never have to worry about making plans… I know where and with whom I will be. It carries the assurance of familiar faces, good food, and plenty of ridiculous inside jokes (“Somebody DIED Beverly”).
So, be a Debbie Downer all you want about Valentine’s Day; poo-poo on how it is an unromantic, commercialized event meant for Hallmark to steal your money. I’ll be over here, handcrafting Valentine cards like I’m five, and “makin’ it rain” at party supplies stores.
No shame in my game.