Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Now, lest you think that’s because I always had Cupid’s arrow pointed at me, let me assure you that I was single every Valentine’s Day until I met Andrew. So why do I love it so much? Maybe it’s because pink is my favorite color. Maybe it’s because I’m super girly and love all things heart-shaped. Maybe it’s because I’m a 90’s kid and I have so many childhood memories of picking out my Valentines and painstakingly selecting the right one for each person in my class. (You had to play it cool and give your crush a really neutral one and make sure to give your best friend the cutest one.) Whatever the reason, I’ve always looked forward to February 14th. Today I’m sharing some of the traditions that have made this day fun whether I was single or in love.
Exchanging small gifts
Every year until I was out of college, my mom would give us little presents on Valentine’s Day morning. It was something to look forward to, especially in high school when most of my friends were dating and I was team Forever Single. She continued the tradition by sending me care packages in college full of candy and other little treats. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to brighten someone’s day and create a lasting memory!
Some of the best Valentine’s Days I’ve ever spent have been with girl friends. One of my favorite days ever was in college when a floor-mate whose grandmother lived near campus opened her home to us on Valentine’s. We all got dressed up, she served us a home cooked meal, and we just hung out and talked late into the night about dating horror stories, what was going on in our lives, and everything else under the sun. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to plan a girls’ night and get dressed up without any of the pressure of having plans with a significant other.
I know this is super cheesy and cliche, but Valentine’s Day is all about embracing all that good stuff! Rom-coms are popular for a reason. They put you in a good mood. When so much of our entertainment is scary or stress-inducing, it’s nice to just sit and watch two people fall in love while hi-jinks ensue. Some of my favorites are 13 Going on 30, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, He’s Just Not That Into You, Legally Blonde (a rom com but also one of the greatest movies of our time), and 27 Dresses. For bonus points you can watch the rom-com Valentine’s Day if you really want to get festive!
If the phrase “heart-shaped donuts” doesn’t make you happy, I don’t know what to do with you. This became a tradition for me a few years ago. Andrew and I had been dating for six months, which is kind of the turning point in a dating relationship if you ask me. We were on our way to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, where we got heart-shaped donuts. On the way home, we re-ignited a big argument that had been causing strain in our relationship. We realized that no matter how much we talked, we weren’t going to agree. I told Andrew that even though we disagreed, there was nothing that would make me break up with him. He realized in that moment that there was no reason he would break up with me either. That night he went home and started ring shopping. Ever since we got engaged and he told me his side of the story, I’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day with heart-shaped donuts. P.S. Despite my experience, if you’re trying to get a ring, I don’t recommend starting a fight.
Wearing a cute outfit
Real talk: I’m a grandma trapped in a 28 year old’s body. And just as Grandmas bedeck themselves in themed vests and sweaters every holiday season, I am never one to shy away from a festive outfit. 4th of July? I’m wearing red, white, and blue. Christmas? I’m gonna rock my red flannel at all the functions. And for Valentine’s Day? I’m sporting something pink, girly, and fun. I really believe that simple things, like putting together a cute outfit because you love holidays, go a long way in putting some joy in your life. Plus, if you look good, you feel good, and that affects your whole mindset for the day.
I hope these traditions will inspire you to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or at least not dread it. How are you celebrating this year? Do you love this holiday or hate it? Let me know in the comments!