Whoever put Valentine’s Day right in the middle of February knew what they were doing.
It was also a good idea to schedule some of the biggest and best holidays at the end of the year, as that gives us a reason to keep going as our energy starts to fade toward the finish line, but there’s Halloween with its fun decorations (and candy) and Thanksgiving with family (and food) and Christmas with trees and gifts and lights and songs (and food) and New Year’s with parties and celebrations. And, yeah, more food. Oof.
But then you drag all the way through January, which is usually cold and grey and miserable, and February arrives pretty much the same way, but just as you are about to give up in despair of ever seeing green grass or a pretty flower again –
Valentine’s Day to the rescue.
No food to speak of except for those sugar/chalk “conversation hearts,” unless someone buys you a box of nice chocolates, but that’s okay. Like a hibernating bear, you’re pretty much still living off the fat you stored up from those previously mentioned end-of-year holidays.
No, Valentine’s Day offers something even better than candy:
Admittedly, the day seems to be directed mostly at two very different, disparate demographics:
Young couples in love … and little kids.
I’ll discreetly allow the “young couple” audience to speak for itself – or not – regarding why this special occasion might be meaningful for them, and will address the audience that I actually know a little something about:
Kids love Valentine’s Day.
The cards are still fun and mostly funny at this age. Who needs those drippy sentiments expressing everlasting adoration, inscribed in some crazy cursive font with lots of swirls that you can hardly even read?
Especially when you can trade those cheap paper valentines with goofy cartoons and groan-worthy puns like “I Mustache If You Will Be My Valentine” or the ever-popular bumblebee-illustrated “Bee My Valentine,” the kitten-inspired “You’re My Purr-fect Valentine” or various jungle animals proclaiming “I’m Wild About You!”
What’s not to love?
Which brings us to the best thing of all: Glitter.
Obviously – obviously! – you have to have construction paper in shades of red, pink and white … those white-paper lacy doily things (what are those things actually for, anyway, besides making valentines?), markers and glue sticks and stickers.
But glitter is where it’s at.
And the more you love someone, the more glitter they get.
Smear that glue stick! Squeeze the glue bottle! And then sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle and sparkle away!
The fact that the glitter doesn’t all stay stuck in place is the best part of the magic.
So if you are fortunate enough to be the recipient of a glittery valentine this year, don’t worry about the glitter that ends up on the table, on the floor, on the furniture, on the dog.
Don’t drag out the vacuum or reach for the dustbuster or even the broom and dustpan.
Just let the love continue to sparkle in all those most unexpected places and at all those most unexpected times …
… because there’s still a lot of winter to get through before spring arrives.
But love – and glitter – will light the way.