Serious question: is it a hot take to like (or even love) Valentine’s Day?
Amongst polarizing holidays, not to be confused with controversial holidays (lookin’ at you, Columbus Day), I’d like to think that there’s plenty of value in celebrating Valentine’s Day. In my adult life, it has somehow become part of my personality to really love the holiday — I end up telling friends, dates, strangers, honestly anyone who will listen, etc. about my proverbial soapbox advocating for why it’s actually great.
Let’s get a few things out of the way - I know Valentine’s Day gets a bad reputation for reasons I am willing to recognize. Including, but not limited to, its evolution as a capitalistic holiday surrounding spending money on things, the heightened emphasis on romance (or lack thereof), and the obligatory nature of having to participate or celebrate. I get it, I really do. My goal isn’t to magically convince everyone that this is objectively the best holiday, but rather offer a different perspective to get a glimpse of why it’s not deserving of all the hate it gets.
So here we go! Here are my top 3 reasons why I love Valentine’s Day :)
1. Love-related music
For those close to me, it’s no surprise that music is a key player in my overall positive experience of the holiday. Christmas music can be polarizing, but who doesn’t love songs about love?? There’s no shortage of incredible works of art that either explicitly or implicitly discuss love, so don’t try and come for me and say all of them are bad. One of my favorite ways to get in the mood for the holiday is to put together a Valentine’s Day playlist each year (check out this year’s RadiYo! roundup coming soon). And for anyone who’s curious - Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, the BeeGees, and Sade are on my playlists almost every single year. Even if you’re not willing to compile your own favorites (even though I would highly encourage that), you’ve got to admit that it can be kind of sweet getting to listen to good music filled with good feelings to get you in a good mood.
2. Celebrating all forms of love (not just romantic)
I’ll be honest, I have a soft spot in my heart for Valentine’s Day because of my fond memories of the holiday growing up. My mom always made it a point to give us little treats, cards, gifts, etc., a practice that continues to this day. Despite living in different cities/states, my siblings and I just received Valentine’s Day care packages from our mom this week :’) cue the tears, I know.
Explaining the “all forms of love” concept gets the most eye rolls and groans, but I really do think this is a great opportunity to celebrate love beyond just romantic love. When you think about the important people in our lives, of course we should be reminding them that they’re loved and valued by us every day of the year, but why not use this literal love-centric holiday as an easy opportunity to let them know? I’d like to think this is such an easy excuse to tell people you love them – such low-hanging fruit to send them a little “Happy Valentine’s Day – appreciate and love you!” message. You can literally copy and paste that into a text message if you want, you have my permission.
3. Cute, silly little things!
In Nancy Meyers’ 2009 movie The Holiday, one of the protagonists, Iris, picks up her neighbor and good friend before an event. He hands her a corsage to wear and shyly notes that if it’s too corny or if it ruins her outfit that she doesn’t have to wear it, to which she responds with one of my favorite lines, “I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.” In the midst of the seriousness of life, I love the idea of getting to enjoy corny, silly things for no real reason. There’s just something so fun about cute gifts, decorations, accessories, etc. that bring a necessary element of lighthearted, almost childlike energy to our day to day.
Growing up, I loved getting to make those little Valentine’s Day mailboxes to hold all the small candies and valentines from elementary school classmates. Today, that looks more like making Valentine’s Day-themed treats for my friends or sending little Valentine’s Day notes, whether via text or snail mail. You’ll also catch me at the Valentine’s Day party my housemates and I are throwing, wearing a heart-shaped headband and decorating with garlands, flowers, hearts, and more. Love is in the freakin’ air and I’m so here for it!!!
From me to you, wishing you the sweetest Valentine’s Day yet — celebrate love with your favorite people and here’s to hoping Cupid’s helped grow your heart for V-Day a few sizes :)
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