My Funny Valentine

I love Valentine's Day. In my family, it's a big deal. Growing up, my Dad made sure to make a big deal out of every holiday, and Valentine's Day was no exception.

A few days before Valentine's Day, I'd walk in to find the dining room table strewn about with white card stock, and.... red + white paper doilies, red glitter, red heart cut outs, red construction paper, black markers, more red glitter. It was a Valentine making party. We would all sit down {Dad, Stepmom Kathy, Marc my brother, and Me} and make Valentine cards.
 I thought this was normal.I thought all families did this. I thought that this was part of the holiday. But...
It was an event! It was a tradition! It was preparation for the celebration!

When the big day rolled around, I would walk into the dining room again, to find Valentine's Day decorations, red lights, Frank & Dino crooning some love songs, red themed food (Italian family=Spaghetti or Ravioli with red sauce) and...Valentine's Day stockings. Yup. My Dad knew how to do it. It was a holiday spectacular! It was mini-Christmas! It was love and creativity and red explosions! It would also mean that every boyfriend I ever had would completely disappoint me. (That's what Dads do, right?)

Fast forward. Terrence and I love Valentine's Day too. And, because our anniversary is just a few days afterward, we save the gifts for that. Instead, I try to preserve the spirit of the Valentine's Day traditions I was handed down...and Terrence has handled the ridiculousness well. We make each other handmade love notes. We make something red to eat. (This year, Homemade Sushi which we have used food coloring to make the rice red...) and we kissy-kissy-smoochy-smoochy-tell each other our love stories.

However you grew up celebrating, or if you didn't...maybe you should start. My Dad might have been a little odd with his over-the-top celebrating, but it made my life richer. It gave me something special to share with my husband. It gave me memories of love with my family. And it's still a reminder today that there are many kinds of love on Valentine's Day.

And a day that's an excuse to show people you love them in a corny shmoozy way? I'm all for that. There's not enough going around. Start your own traditions. Keep up the ones you like. Love on someone today.


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