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February 13, 2009


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"It is the unexpected that seems to mean the most." That rings particularly true for me today, when I got an unexpected Valentine card at work from one of the guys who does some work for us on a regular basis. He came in to bring me his monthly invoice, and along with it was a cute card with an adorable puppy dog on it. Nothing expensive; nothing over the top. Just a cute card and a note of thanks for being so cheerful whenever he comes in. Entirely unexpected -- and looking at it put a smile on my face the rest of the day.

My own way of dealing with it all this year was to make valentines instead of going to the card store... less money, more time and energy, but a lot more fun! At church this year, we made and sent Valentines to the troops, and I made a dozen or so for that; I made them for family and some friends. Nothing that will overwhelm anyone, but at least I felt like I was putting a part of my heart into it ;-)

We joke about how Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc. have all become "Hallmark Holidays" but there's more than a little truth in it, I'm afraid. What started out to be a day to pay special attention to your Special Someone in February, or a day to honor your mother in May or your father in June, have all become overblown and somewhat absurd. And it's easy to start feeling coerced into blowing it all out of proportion... or just plain grumpy because we're no longer doing something because we WANT to -- we're doing it because it's expected.

I remember my mom making sugar cookies, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, then put our names on them with frosting. Did she do that every year? Or was it just some years? Probably the latter... but I remember how fun and how special it was -- not to mention how yummy!


I was once remanded to the doghouse for not adorning my girlfriend with something special on "Sweetest Day". Up until that particular October 19th, I didn't even know that such a day existed. Needles to say, when my sentence was over, I just kept on walking.

These "love days" do have their place--they are great for those who lack imagination and spontaneity.


Since Sweetest Day was invented by Cleveland candy makers, I'd say your instincts for self-preservation were good, soloranger! Unless of course you and the lady in question were from Cleveland, where I understand there is a regional following for the "holiday."

Zen Mama Wannabe

Sweetest Day?? You have got to be kidding me? It's like Grandparents Day (like they needed a day all to themselves? even when Mother's Day is full of Happy Mother's Day Grandma cards, etc.?) Between all these "important" occasions, I find myself EXHAUSTED!

I go back to the "unexpected." It is those (few) times I've received flowers that I have treasured the most. Same with cards/notes. Sorry Hallmark!


I can't help but feel a combination of things when I read this blog. One was "I hate this made up holiday too!" and the other "How sad we spend time and energy on our kids school party instead of on the one we love." That said, I am not sure WHAT I think. I too feel it is a "Hallmark Holiday" but I can't help but feel a little sad that we have rationalized yet another reason to do something for the kids (we HAVE to do Valentine's for the school party even if it is a stupid holiday, what would people think?!) but not giving the same to our significant other. I settled for a card and a small chocolate bar for my husband this year and skipped the kids altogether. Luckily he rose to the occassion for the rest of the family. Because afterall, it is a holiday to celebrate those you love, even if it IS a made up holiday!

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