How I Stopped Hating Valentine’s Day and How You Can Too

This year, I have been looking forward to Valentine’s day.  I’m excited to see the red, pink, and purple decorations in stores, and I smile when I see pastel roses framing cutesy stuffed animals holding puffy hearts.  But it didn’t used to be this way.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day with a fiery passion.

I used to be the person who would be cranky most of February and who would rail against Valentine’s Day.  It was a holiday pushed by Hallmark and jewelry stores (probably the chocolate industry too!) that made people think that however much money they spent on someone was equal to how much they loved that person.  Everything was purposely overpriced.  It marked the holiday of a saint whose day was taken away by the Catholic church at one time (this might not be right, but I sure believed it).  It marked the haves and have nots of romantic love.  It inspired awful movies.  It was the worst holiday everrrrr.

Some of that may still be true (I’m still not sure on the saint thing).  But there was something that changed Valentine’s Day for me.  It wasn’t a movie, a Ted Talk, or some wise old being who lectured me on the importance of love.  And no, it wasn’t The Ranger (click here to see who The Ranger is), although having him certainly adds a special something.

It was a little dog.

Love at First Lick
This is a screenshot from one of the first videos of Snowie. To my knowlege, this is one of the first times (if not the first time) Snowie tried to give me a doggy kiss. Photo Property of: Elizabeth Preston

I was heartbroken after Sabrina (my senior pupper) passed that December, and my parents realized that I couldn’t start really healing until I had another dog.  So, my dad searched and searched, and he found Snowie.  My parents told me that she was my Valentine’s Day present, and she could come home about two weeks after Valentine’s Day.  Something changed at that moment.  Valentine’s Day was no longer an illogical holiday celebrating idealistic romance and overpriced chocolates.  Instead, it celebrated love in every sense of the word—familial love, friend love, puppy love, etc.  It celebrated Snowie.

If you hate Valentine’s Day, I get it.  I really do.  But try something new this year.

Try thinking of everyone you love and care about—friends, family, pets, and significant others.  Think of everything that they have done throughout the year that has been an act of love towards you.  Maybe that’s cooking a meal, gassing up your car, watching Say Yes to the Dress or Jenna Marbles videos when “the game” is on (The Ranger does this a lot for me.), giving you the last bite of ice cream, being there for you during a difficult time, talking with you late into the night about your job worries, or whatever else they may have done.  Now, write down as many of those things as you can.  Once you’re done, or your hand just can’t write any more, look at your list and see how much you are loved.  Let Valentine’s Day be a day of reflecting on how much you are loved.

There.  I bet that you don’t hate it so much anymore, now do you?  😉  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.  Here are some pictures of the little pup who forever changed Valentine’s Day for me.



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