The little girl I babysit likes to give me her art. As it is now February, she is currently making Valentines. She asks me how to spell my name, writes the letters backwards and proudly presents it to me. I praise it, praise her and show it off. She makes sure I take it home with me, alongside the ones I made. I hang them up on my family’s fridge and in my room.
I do not like the Valentine’s Day holiday season. I do not think the feast day of Sts. Chocolate Hearts, Red Roses and Hallmark Cards should be so elaborately celebrated. I do not like the idea of packaging Love; I do not like the commercialization of emotions. I do not like the supposed pressure couples feel to do something “special” or the unnecessary outrage of single people.
I do like Valentine’s Day, though. My mom likes to give us six kids candy, cards signed “Love, Mom and Dad” and holiday themed socks. My grandparents send us each cards, as does our cousins. In high school, I used to photocopy my hand with the letters of “happy” on each finger, and then “Valentine’s Day!” on my palm and would hand them out. It is always great fun to show another that you love and appreciate them.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m going to celebrate my love for others with cards of my own creation. None of those overpriced and awkwardly phrased ones with shiny hearts or seductive images!
Rather, I’m going to tell my youngest brother how much I admire his discipline in school and athletics. I’m going to thank my parents for instilling in me a sense of purpose and a need for productivity. I’ll write a few haikus for my sisters, a poem for my fiance, and remind my younger brother of how proud I am that he’s serving our country with his body, mind, soul and at least a decade of his life.
Pope St. Gregory the Great said, “The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.”
Don’t buy into Love: give it!
[author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Julie-Robison-e1313151018703.png[/author_image] [author_info]Julie Robison is a cradle Catholic who holds to a few truths: Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior; the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life; Guinness is a peerless beer; the best way to eat fruit is in a pie. Everything else seems expendable. Julie hails from the Midwest; she has a B.A. in American Studies from Hillsdale College; she is one of the three Bright Maidens; she is a wickedly competitive croquet player. Her website is The Corner With A View.[/author_info]