Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day

I wrote this last year...but wanted to take the time to remind myself (and all of you) why this holiday isn't so bad. 

I realize that Valentine's Day was yesterday and that some of you would much rather be rejoicing in the fact that it has come and gone. However, as we celebrate (or boycott) this "love" holiday I can't seem to help but ponder what it all means. Why does one holiday bring such joy to some and bitterness to others? I can’t think of any other holiday that brings such division among human beings. I’ve heard all the arguments for and against it and I've found myself on each side of the fence throughout the years. However, this year has found me simply sitting on the fence wondering why the heck we have a fence in the first place? So as I've sat pondering the issue I've come to a few conclusions that I want to share with those of you that live for the holiday, those of you that boycott the holiday, and those of you who like me find yourself sitting on the fence not sure what to think.

I have now spent 2 Valentines Days in this country. (Honduras) Both years I’ve been shocked and amazed to find that V-Day is almost bigger here than it is in the states. Every restaurant, store, and road seems plastered with decorations meant to make you in the Valentine’s Day mood. However, the difference between here and there is that here it is called the Day of love AND friendship. Makes all the single people out there less inclined to hide in bed when February 14th comes around. Reminds us that love isn’t limited to relationships between a man and a women. I know people think adding friendship is just a way to sell more cards and make those who would rather skip the day more apt to celebrate it. However, I’m growing to appreciate the “and friendship” part more every time I think about it.

I’ve been guilty of being one of the loudest boycotters out there against this “hallmark” holiday. There was a day when I may have picked up a sign and joined a group protesting the “stupid” holiday outside a flower shop. (ok so probably not but I would have been chanting with them in my heart/mind) For whatever reason through the years the desire to fight has left me and the arguments that used to ring so true seem pointless now. Why is it we have such a problem with having a day to celebrate love? We V day boycotters used to complain that it was a Hallmark holiday invented solely to sell cards. We couldn’t seem to figure out why there should be a day set aside for love. Shouldn’t we be loving and expressing that love every day of the year? In the past 48 hours I’ve sat pondering all of that once again.

It has hit me though that isn’t the point of any holiday to simply have one day in which we recognize that which we celebrate (or should be celebrating) every other day of our lives? Think about it….Christmas comes but once a year. It is a day to celebrate Christ’s birth. Just because we recognize and celebrate Christmas doesn’t mean that we don’t have to appreciate the precious gift of His birth any other day of the year. Thanksgiving Day by no means limits us to only being thankful for the blessings of life on that one day in late November. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day doesn’t mean that we spoil our parents on “their” day and treat them like crap the rest of the year. Each holiday is simply a reminder of the love, appreciation, and celebration that should be happening EVERY day.

I have looked up and researched the origin for why we celebrate Valentine’s Day. What was it that triggered its birth in the first place and what made it significant enough to be added to every calendar you buy? The results to my search could have kept me reading for days. I could fill you in on just about every detail of what makes February 14th what it is today. However, as I mentioned in my last blog… 1. this blog is plenty long enough already and 2. if you were capable of getting to this blog I’m confident that you can also handle a google search. (with the exception of maybe Bonnie! he he) I will leave you with this…. my research proved to me that there are plenty other reasons for this holiday than the clich√© “hallmark wanted to make more money” argument. Does this mean I’ve climbed down off the fence and been converted to stand fighting beside those of you that love this holiday….no. I simply still sit wondering why it is we ever built this fence in the first place. What have those on the “love valentine’s day and anything to do with it” side of the fence done to invoke such a riot from those on the “not so fond of the holiday” side? Surely it is more than just an I have or don’t have a boyfriend, husband, reason to celebrate love issue. So what is it that fuels this war? So I would say I have at best become sympathetic to both sides but am choosing to simply celebrate the same way I celebrate every day I’m given to love those around me.

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