Valentine’s Day is almost here, and I have to admit that it’s my favorite holiday. As a child, I was thrilled to head off to school with a heart-shaped bag my mother would sew out of a few pieces of red patterned fabric, and which I would stuff with little notes for everyone. Two hearts sewn together simply with a handle long enough to hang off my shoulder. Perfection.
Of all the holidays, Valentine’s Day can be fraught with disappointment for those expecting declarations, gifts, and romantic messages. The greatest love letters come at random times, with motivations often ranging from loss to apologetic desire. Consider the closing lines of a letter by saxophonist Charlie Parker: “Shame on me. I love you.”
With a week to go, I will skip listing romantic ideas for your partner (or the one you wish to make your partner). True romance is authentic, and the acts and expressions that mean the most to me are often things that would seem entirely unromantic out of context. If you are in love, listen to your inner guidance as to what will make your partner’s heart swell.
This list is a starting point for discovering new ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day and show love throughout the year.
With these ideas in mind, you can create new Valentine’s Day traditions centered on expressing love in ways that benefit loved ones, the community, and yourself. Since I have always loved the lighter side of the day as well, I plan to celebrate with a combination of good works and sweet indulgences.