Valentine's Day is my favourite day of the year. I love what it represents: a celebration of love. So simple.
I love watching men dashing in and out of my neighbourhood store with bouquets (which on any other day would be a lot cheaper). I love hearing about the kind and thoughtful things people do for one another - the big surprises, the small gifts, the thoughtful touches. I love that people remember to take the time to recognize those they love — on any day, but on this day in particular.
I realize I'm a hopeless romantic at heart. I know there's a lot of commercialism that comes with Valentine's Day, but I like to think it's less prevalent than on other holidays. I also know that the day has bloody, sacrificial roots in Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival. But I push all of that aside in favour of the spirit and symbolism of today: kids' homemade cards laden with doilies and glue, joyful faces of lucky recipients of red heart-shaped boxes, and of course, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.
Valentine's Day isn't always a happy time, especially for those who are alone. I distinctly remember celebrating an anti-Valentine's Day in my single days by going to Leaving Las Vegas with my sister-in-law. Nowadays, my husband is rarely in town on Valentine's Day, so I'm still alone (albeit with my kids and dog).
But alone or with loved ones, I take heart in the special small things that appear on this day like Barack Obama's tweet to Michelle or Michelle's tweet back to Obama. Or, perhaps the most unique gift that's ever arrived in my mailbox, a pussy hat that my mother-in-law knit for me. With 364 other days that often highlight the less dreamy qualities of humankind, I think we all deserve to get lost in today's love-infused escapism. Happy Valentine's Day.