Angela Jamison is a native Montanan and she grew up in beautiful Bozeman. I'm the mother of two girls and write a blog about our life here and taking in the simple pleasures of family and food.
If any holiday gets the title of Hallmark Holiday, Valentine’s Day is it. There’s not much of a history to the origins of how it came about, the stores are filled with pink and red, cupids and hearts and little plastic nonsense. The kids have to buy cards, preferably along with candy hearts or chocolate kisses to give to everyone in their class…even the annoying boy who sits next to your daughter picking his nose all day. There are decorations at Target waiting to be bought that could rival their Christmas season ones. Roses and flowers will be over priced the week leading up, restaurants will be busy with couples celebrating and heart shaped boxes filled with sub-par chocolates will be in the front aisles of the grocery stores. Despite all of this I love Valentine’s Day.
Call me a sucker (I prefer hopeless romantic) but I think having a holiday that is meant only to celebrate love is wonderful. Mine haven’t always been great. My earliest Valentine’s memory is from first grade…I was wearing a new shirt with hearts all over it, my backpack was full of Valentine’s for my friends and I was so excited for the class celebration. The party ended before it started, however, as I threw up all over myself on the bus ride to school. In the office I had to trade my beautiful heart shirt for something the secretary could find in the lost and found. It was so sad, but I still look back on it fondly, remembering going through my bag of Valentine’s that my teacher sent home with me. Later on, while pregnant with my oldest, my husband and I got all dressed up to head downtown to our favorite restaurant for a fancy dinner. We walked in and were told our reservations were given away to a very important customer who decided to show up on Valentine’s day with a party of ten and no reservations. We were asked if we would mind waiting an hour or so. I’m sorry…you cannot ask a 7-month pregnant lady to wait for food, it’s just not happening (this restaurant has since closed its doors.) We took our dressed up selves to good old Columbo’s pizza and spent our Valentine’s dinner there. This actually became a tradition that we’ve down for several Valentine’s since. Through these and other ones that didn’t go quite as planned, I still have a soft spot for this day of love.
I don’t love all of it. I think the kids buying cards for their class can be silly. I don’t like how much the stores are trying to sell…no one needs a bunch of toy hearts, or stuffed animals or pens with a pink fluff ball on top. We work around all this. I have my kids make Valentine’s for their friends rather than get the pre-printed cards. We don’t buy gifts, but we do make heart shaped sugar cookies. My husband and I don’t exchange cards, but we do have a glass of champagne and maybe dig into the box of cheesy chocolates my mom always gets me. (She thinks totally opposite on these things and buys us all the silly things the stores sell for every holiday. You have no idea how many pairs of holiday themed socks I own!) It’s about taking a little extra time in our day to show someone how much you love them.
Whatever your experience is with Valentine’s day, the idea behind it is a positive one. Everything surrounding it is love and happiness. It’s hard to argue with that. And..if we didn’t have Valentines day in February it would just be another sad, cold winter month around here. So, we kinda have to love it…what else are you going to do? Spring is still so very far away.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends.