14 February 2014

Love and Chocolate

I call a lot of holidays my favorite holiday, but when I say it about Valentine's Day, I mean it.

One of my mom's love languages is gift-giving, so holidays were always a big deal in my house. I remember waking up on Valentine's morning to find a basket full of chocolate and presents on the dining room table with a card telling me how much my parents loved me. Because of this, I have always associated Valentines' Day with celebrating love and chocolate.

When I was 13, my best friend April got broken up with just before Valentine's Day and was very upset about it. Not wanting her to have a lousy day, I asked her to be my Valentine. I still remember my dad taking me to the store to pick out a box of chocolates for her; fully supportive of his silly, joyous daughter. She came over to my house and we watched Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge while eating pizza and ice cream. We had a blast and I had unwittingly started a lasting tradition. Almost every year since then, I've picked one of my (usually single) girl friends and asked her to be my Valentine. I buy her chocolates and we go on a date. Tonight, I have two Valentines and I'm making them heart-shaped pizza to share over some Netflix rom-coms.

I always get so frustrated when people are negative about Valentine's Day. Calling it "Singles Awareness Day" and other such crap. I believe that if you feel excluded on Valentine's Day because you don't have a significant other, it's because you decided to feel that way. Restaurants won't turn you away if you show up with a friend. CVS will sell you all the boxes of chocolate you want without first verifying that they're for your partner. Why pigeon-hole Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love, into only being about romantic love? This is the first year of my life that I went on a romantic Valentine's date and I wouldn't even go with him on Valentine's day (we went last night) because spending February 14th with my girl friends is so much more important to me. If you stop thinking about Valentine's Day as being about romance and start thinking about it as being about LOVE, you open up so many possibilities for joy and celebration.

Pretty much every single day is what you make it. As often as I can, I choose joy.

These are some of the Valentine's I made this year.

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