Today is Valentine’s Day. The day has it’s roots in the church tradition as a day of feasting remembering the Martyrdom of St. Valentine. We can thank Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages for turning it into a romantic drama. Eventually it became a time in which people used the day as an opportunity for expressing “love.” Near the end of the 19th century, buying cards came into fashion. Over the 20th century we decided that a simple card was not enough and we began spending figures that now reach over $14 billion in retail sales in the U.S. annually, averaging $103 per person in 2009 on cards, candy, flowers and meals. Cynics will argue that it that it’s become nothing but a Hallmark Holiday designed to feed our consumeristic addictions (and yes I confess I tend to be one of them).
But then you come home and your seven year old daughter has created a book:
If I have to consider one word that my daughter uses in her drawings and books more than any other, it’s the word “love.” And while it could be a good reflection of her home life, that’s not the point to focus on (…Iet’s be clear I’m sure she’ll hit her goth stage someday and I likely won’t show off her drawings because I won’t think them as cute). I think that her expression captures something important that children grasp: Love is worth celebrating. Without getting into the different forms of love and go all Christianese with our distinctions of eros, philos, and agape, sometimes we need to appreciate that the Bible at it’s core celebrates “love.” So while I still might suggest that we curb our spending habits…go celebrate love. Happy Valentine’s Day!