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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

So, today is Valentine's Day. Quite possibly the most dreaded holiday of the year for a single person - or even for a person who is part of a couple, if they don't know what to get their other. My sister calls it "Single Awareness Day," which made me giggle when she first said it. It is true, though. If you are single, truly, what other day of the year makes you so keenly aware of it? Many might argue (not without cause) that it's a holiday made up by greeting card companies and chocolate manufacturers. While the roots of it go back a little further than Hallmark, it does seem that they profit from the day more than anyone else.

Most of that, I think, is due to how commercialized most of our holidays have become. The underlying spirit and meaning has been eradicated by the blitz of marketing by companies hoping to make a profit on people's good intentions. On the surface, Valentine's Day is that day you buy chocolates, cards and jewelry, just like on Thanksgiving you get together to eat ungodly amounts of food and on Christmas you hang sparkly things on a tree and put expensive gifts in boxes wrapped in expensive paper to everyone you know. These are the gestures and the ritual, but they are not the holiday. That is not the spirit in which these things began. Valentine's Day is about love, and there are many more kinds of love than just the romantic kind. I think today should be a day to show those you love that you appreciate them. Not just your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife, but also that friend who has always been there for you, or the family member that you can always count on. We could stop for a moment and think about those we have given love to in the past, even if it didn't work out. They are a part of our journey, too, after all, and it is the journey that has made us who we are.

Above all, remember to love and appreciate yourself today. You're far more amazing, wonderful and beautiful than you give yourself credit for. If you do happen to be single at the moment and are stressing about it, don't. As amazing as you are, there is undoubtedly someone amazing in your future. Your future is just the now that you haven't seen yet. Sometimes it's just fun to think about the possibilities.

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