i love you, but …

February 14th is known by many different names: the Hallmark Holiday, Singles Awareness Day, and officially … St. Valentine’s Day.

Say what you will about consumerism, our culture’s obsession with buying things, “you can’t buy love,” and the Hallmark-aspect of this day. It’s true … a lot of times Valentine’s day simply becomes a day of exchanging obligation gifts with a significant other. Or it becomes a day when singles are “left out” … again reminded of the fact they are single.

Many cynics point out the negative side of Valentine’s day.  They say you should let people know you care everyday and any day … not just because a “holiday” tells you to. And they have a fair point.  If Valentine’s day is the ONLY day you let people know you care about them, you may need to re-evaluate some of your relationships.

I think Valentine’s day presents a good opportunity to remind people that you care.  It’s an excuse to send a nice card their way, or a small gift to let them know you’re thinking of them.  It reminds me to tell people who live far away that I’m thinking of them, and that I care about them even from miles away.  Sure I can do this any day of the year – and often I do – but the feeling of “love” in the air is a good nudge that makes me think about the relationships I value.

I say relationships because Valentine’s day isn’t about having ONE significant person in your life to celebrate with.  Sure that’s fun, and it’s a part of Valentine’s day, but there are relationships that are just as valuable that deserve to be recognized.  Send some love in the direction of your family and friends.  They’ve most likely make a significant impact on your life too, and today is a good time to remind them of that.

Don’t treat Valentine’s day like just another Hallmark holiday.  Think of it as a chance to let someone know you care … just because.

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