Updated: Jul 9
In my opinion, I don’t care if you’ve been happily married or searchingly single for 10 years, having a day like Valentine’s is necessary. Before I get real on this post, let me first ask, did you tell someone you love them today? What about your significant other? Was it a passionate “I love you” or just the regular “love ya”? Will you still appreciate your partner even though you might not get a gift today? Are you still showing affection even if you might not get some action? Did you do something nice, out of your way for somebody? If you answered yes to all these questions, then congratulations! You truly live everyday like Valentine’s Day and that’s what’s up! I’m inspired! But for the majority, it’s nice having Hallmark Holidays to remind us of all the little but beautiful things in life.
As a reminder, everything in my blog is an opinion, merely suggesting a different perspective. Take it with a grain or pound of salt, it’s up to you 😊.
Who’s Tradition Is It Anyway?
First off, I know many of us want to point fingers at the greeting card companies but candy companies didn't start Halloween and Hallmark Cards didn’t start Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s said that the tradition carries all the way back to the Romans in the 3rd century AD when Emperor Claudius II banned marriage because he believed married men were weak soldiers. Saint Valentine, who many of us know the day was named after, disagreed with Claudius and so he secretly arranged marriages behind the Emperor’s back. When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. During his imprisonment, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter. On February 14, the day he was taken to be killed, he sent her a love letter signed "from your Valentine".
Now see, I’m overly sensitive. So thinking about a man telling his girl “I love you” knowing it will be the last time he sees her makes me all teary eyed. It makes me say "damn, I never know when I may go." Even when I'm single, I always use it as an excuse to reach out to old friends and family just to let them know how much I love them. I used to be extremely annoyed with Holidays for two reasons, the commercialism and disingenuous behavior that came attached, but stories like Saint Valentine's have me looking beyond the 'in your face’ sales, the exaggerated social media posts and more deeply into meanings behind the traditions.
Holidays, They Are What You Make Em...
It may not be considered a Hallmark Holiday, but Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year and it’s not because of the insane Seasons Greetings discounts. If I can be honest, I find it extremely hypocritical to spend time with loved ones, preach about everything you’re grateful for, then bail the same night to go Black Friday shopping where you will trample over children just to get the “best deal” on a crock pot. I love it for the deeply rooted idea of gratitude for food, family and friends. Sure, the whole pilgrims and Natives loving each other is a debate for another day but I like to think we can use the story as an application for our present lives, even if it was bullshit back then. In other words, even if the story is completely fabricated, we can still spread the notion of cultures joining as one in peace. We can still open our hearts to those less fortunate or maybe just different from us. The same can be said with Saint Valentine and every holiday, even if it is National Pancake Day. Somewhere within the silliness, there is always a deeper meaning. What is it? It’s up to us to find out.
Trust me, it will be hard to find depth in some of them. In fact, it's only been recently that I have found joy in the ludicrousness. Absurd celebrations like Dress Up Your Pet Day, Panda Appreciation Day and National Margarita Day had me thinking seriously!? Talk about manufacturing. My issue isn’t the overkill posts on instagram (actually part of it is 😜) but rather the fact big bad corporate companies get more money in their pockets while us little people keep spending and spending. So these silly Americanized holidays made me perceive all of them in a jaded perspective, even Thanksgiving. But to be honest, nobody forced me and nobody is forcing you to be a part of the consumerism. If you blew your bonus trying to get a flat screen TV, that’s on you so take responsibility. We might not be able to control the Christmas music that comes on the radio or take down all the Halloween decorations that show up in August but we all have the ability to be more self-disciplined. So just because Zales tells you buying her a diamond ring is the best way to say “I love you”, doesn’t mean you should or have to, it should just be a reminder that you want to. As a small business owner, even I give in. For instance, I offered discounted pricing on personal training sessions to all nurses last year during National Nurse’s Day. I know, they are far more valuable than pancakes and I’m not just saying that because my sister is one but being in the wellness industry, it benefits both of us by increasing sales on my end while acknowledging other valuable health professionals in our society. Isn't that the American Dream? Just like IHOP, where they love to make pancakes guess who also benefits? People who to eat love pancakes 🙋♂️! Supply and demand has been around for centuries and won't be going anywhere. So rather than viewing it as some street hustler trying to sell me on a holiday, I perceive it more as a team effort. But I said it once and I’ll say it again, while shoving all these holidays in our faces can be annoying, it’s always good practice towards our self control.
Everyday Is A Celebration
When it comes down to it we need these Hallmark Holidays. Unless you’re buying your spouse flowers, having a margarita, thanking a nurse, dressing your dog, and appreciating a panda all day, everyday, it’s almost impossible to do it, let alone remember it all. So having a friend tell you they're celebrating Almond Day may help you learn something about almonds you never knew before, maybe you start to incorporate them in your diet. Or maybe when you see everyone's grandparent post on Facebook for Grandparents Day, you may not post something but you're reminded to call Grandma & thank her for having your back whenever mom acted up. It’s natural for us to forget especially with everything that’s going on in our busy lives, so having a celebration everyday helps us appreciate the big things and the smaller.
January 26th is National Spouses Day. It's also the tragic day we lost an international hero, Kobe Bryant, and so many others including his daughter Gianna. Whether he knew it was National Spouses Day or not, Kobe was a man who tried to better himself everyday and we can always do the same, by celebrating life everyday. Everyday is something to be grateful for. So the next time you see hearts flooding your local Target and chocolate everywhere, don't Charlie Brown it and make it all about you, take a second to remember it’s about love and spreading it. Then try to apply that everyday along with whatever other ridiculousness might be going on, like Inside Out Day. We musn't take ourselves or life so seriously. It's also important to remain humble with vanity and materials. It's simple, everyday is a blessing, everyday is a holiday, because everyday is a celebration. Now go out and enjoy life!