When you think of Valentine's Day, what comes to your mind? Do you think of candy? How about hearts, or flowers? Jewelry anyone? Okay, but what about the meaning behind all of it…love? All of those things put together represent Valentine's Day.
I remember in elementary school I would bring Valentines for everyone in my class and a few extras for the friends who weren't in my class. The valentines were not much, and they usually came from a box. Each one had a cute saying and picture on them with a "To:___and From/Love:____". But they were still fun to give and to receive. The candy, that came with it somehow seemed to overpower the words and the meaning of the card. If it was good candy, you were lucky to save it until the end of the day, without it being eaten. But any candy that did make it home seemed to disappear overnight, and parents or siblings seemed to be a little more guilty than normal by morning.
Things changed a bit in middle school, but not a whole lot. I stopped bringing valentines for my classmates and started bringing them just for my closest friends. But, it wasn't just one piece of candy anymore. I would bring bags to share. I also started to make the cards myself, and wrote individual messages in each one.
Also, in middle school they started selling candy grams. I love candy grams. You could pay $1 per friend to send a piece of chocolate and a note. Or, you could pay $5 for a teddy bear gram, instead. A lot of students bought them, but by 8th grade, if you were going to do something for your friends, you typically did it on your own. Our school would sell them leading up to the big day. They could be sent to all your friends, and it made them feel special receiving the candy or bear. Who doesn't love candy?
In high school it seems like people give something at Valentine's Day to their closest friends. We begin to focus in on our friendships and find ways to tell those we value the most, how much they really mean to us.
You can express your love in a variety of ways, and they don't have to include candy. I remember giving my mom and dad "coupons" years ago. I made them at school, but they loved them. The coupons offered things that I could do for them, whenever they wanted like; taking out the trash, picking up my room, or avoiding fights with my brothers. They always appreciated them. Another tradition we have is when I hate to share a box of See's Candy with my mom, each year. This year's box is no exception. Each piece of candy has to be split in half to make sure that each of us gets to taste all the different pieces. If it is a good piece, we don't want the other to get it all, and if it is a bad piece, we don't want to eat the whole thing, ourselves! Needless to say, the box doesn't last very long but it is a fun tradition that I will always remember.
When you think of Valentine's Day you may also think of flowers. Somehow, it seems as if flowers should be saved for your girlfriends/boyfriends or your husband/wife. I don't really agree with that because it is a symbol of love and caring. Why can't that apply to friends and family, as well?
Valentines Day is the day of love and a day when we are free to express our love to others. So take the time to make this Valentine's Day special, in your own way…for all the people you love and care about.