It’s almost that time of year again! February 14 is fast approaching, which means that I’m excited for Valentine’s Day, my second favorite holiday. (My first favorite is Thanksgiving, obvs, because the main ingredients are food, booze, and family, which are basically my three favorite things.) Now, I know a lot of you are probably out there groaning over my enthusiasm for what many see as a fake holiday designed completely around commercialism, but I’m here to tell you that you have been misled! Sure, Valentine’s Day — like any holiday — can be totally route and predictable and commercial but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be the best day of your winter, if you let it be.
My love of Valentine’s Day absolutely comes from the very anti-commercial way that my dad has always celebrated it, with the only rules being that anything he does for my mom has to be “cheap, public, and embarrassing.” But over the years (this will be my twenty-eighth Valentine’s Day, after all), I’ve come up with some reasons of my own for loving February 14. I’ve always managed to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether I’m partnered or single because for me, ultimately, it’s a day that’s about love and in a world that’s full of so much hate, why not take 24 hours to focus on love instead?
Here are my top 11 reasons why Valentine’s Day is actually the greatest.
1. You Have An Excuse For Being Super Cheesy
Like, cheddar mettled on manchego and sprinkled with parmesan, cheesy. I love the opportunity that Valentine’s Day presents to just go totally over the top with the cheesiness. Whether it’s telling my partner 8,000 times that I love him or playing ridiculous love songs at top volume and dancing around the kitchen or handing out little cards to my friends, my inner cheeseball sings her loudest on Valentine’s Day.
Our culture is so drenched with irony and DGAF attitudes but Valentine’s Day lets you give all the f*cks and be so sincere! It’s a chance to spread that cool girl exterior and channel your inner 12 year old with her first crush. What’s not to love about that?? Just thinking about it is making me smile.
2. Red And Pink Are My Favorite Colors
I mean, I look great in them. I even painted my car pink when I was a teenager -- that's how much I love it. But even if you don’t look fab in red, you have to admit: it’s a lovely color, especially in the otherwise drab month of February.
3. It’s About Love!
And love is great! And the world needs more love! Love, love, love! (I think my enthusiasm is showing a bit…) Seriously though, especially after all of the terrible things that happened in the world last year, we all could use a little pick-me-up, don’t you think? Take the day to focus on positives like how much you love someone in your life, whether it’s a romantic partner, a best friend, your parents, or your cat. Just put that love out there and I promise the world will look a little a brighter, if only for the day.
4. Basically Every Pink Cocktail Is Delicious
Not to mention red wine. Point being: Whether your single or partnered, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to have a Cosmo or a glass of Malbec. I mean, we already established that pink and red are the colors of the day so really you’re just sticking with the theme, right?
5. Chocolate! (And Discounted Chocolate The Day After)
There are so many different options for chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Whether you get them from a lover or you buy them for yourself (because you know you’re the best), I recommend you sample as many options as you can. One thing, though: If you’re buying it for yourself, definitely hold off until the day after, when drug stores and supermarkets slash the prices in order to make room for Easter candy.
6. It’s An Awesome Time To Let Your Friends Know You Love Them
Single or partnered, February 14th is a great day to let your friends know how much they mean to you. Whether it’s a quick email or a three page long letter written in scented ink or just a text that says “ur the gr8st!” show your BFFs the love!
7. Embarrassing Your S.O. With PDA Is Hilarious
I’m a sucker for PDA but if your SO isn’t, nothing is funnier than showering their face with kisses or showing up at their work with a massive Valentine’s Day card and forcing them to display it on their desk. And, you know, getting back to the theme color, a red face is very on brand for Valentine’s Day.
8. Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies
I don’t know why I love those supermarket sugar cookies that are pink for Valentine’s Day, yellow for Easter, and red and green for Christmas so much (my low white sugar hippie upbringing probably has something to do with it…) but I do. Also, they’re always cheap AF so they’re a sweet indulgence that definitely won’t break the bank.
9. Arts And Crafts Anyone?
If you’re really, really not interested in contributing to the Valentine’s Day Industrial Complex, get crafty! One year I made beautiful valentines out of scrap fabric for all of my friends, creating anatomical hearts with hand-embroidered songbirds to show them how much I loved them. The end product was original, lovely, and the kind of thing they could keep hanging in their houses year-round. Also, I spent $0 on them, so it’s was a 100 percent non-commercial Valentine’s Day that year. You can do the same with stuff you have around the house, whether it’s old sewing supplies or scraps of paper.
10. Conversation Hearts
I think conversation hearts are adorable and I love handing them out to people as a sweet, little way to say “I think you’re great.” I even like the way they taste, although I fully acknowledge that they’re not especially delicious. Is that weird? Probably.
11. It’s A Bright Spot In The Dreary Winter
I grew up in Vermont, which is known for particularly long and brutal winters. February is especially rough, as you’re a solid three months in with at least two months to go before spring has really sprung. Having a holiday halfway through the month that includes flowers and bright, happy colors as well as the oxytocin boosts that come from expressing all that love is such a great gift for those of us slogging through the slush. Even if you’re not into every other reason for loving Valentine’s Day, I think this is one most people can get behind.
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