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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day is not Just for Lovers

Many people assume that Valentine's Day is only for lovers. They think of it as a day when men and women tell their lovers, significant others, or spouses how much they love them. All the advertising focuses on lovers and the exchange of gifts such as jewelry, flowers and chocolates, or on romantic candlelight dinners.
But, Valentine's Day is NOT just for lovers! Love comes in many forms. Some of us have partners, spouses or others whom we love in a romantic way. But, we also love our children, our parents, grandparents, friends and other people who have had a strong influence in our lives.  Valentine's Day gives us the opportunity to tell them that we also love and appreciate them.  

On  February 14th,people in Finland celebrate  Ystävänpäivä, which is translated as Friend's Day. In Mexico, it is called the Día del amor y la amistad, the Day of Love and Friendship.
There is no doubt that Valentine's Day has been over commercialized in Canada and the United Sates, but it still remains a wonderful day when we can express love and appreciation to ALL the important people in our lives, including our children, our family and our friends.  

In almost every elementary school in North America, children make Valentine's Day cards for their parents as a way of reminding them that they love them. Why shouldn't we as parents return the favour - not just with cards, but with words and actions.

My children know that I love them, but it never hurts to say it a little more often. I have always given them cards and chocolates on Valentine's Day, and there have even been years when we have celebrated Valentine's Day together as a family by going out to dinner. I have always telephoned my parents to tell them how much I appreciated them, especially after I had kids of my own and realized just how difficult it was to be a parent. Now that my father is no longer alive, Valentine's Day is one specific day when I spend time thinking about him and about how much I appreciate what he gave me. It seems appropriate to do this on a day that focuses on love. 

For many families, Valentine's Day  evokes  feelings that children may not know how to deal with. Divorced or separated parents may find this a good day to discuss feelings. This is a good opportunity to tell your children how much you love them, regardless of their living situation. It is also a perfect time to hear what your children have to say, to empathize with their emotions and have a real conversation about love and emotions.

How about all the friends who have been there for us in good and bad times,and who have helped us get through some of the most difficult times of our lives?  Don't they deserve a little expression of the love and gratitude we feel towards them? Of course they do.

So, by all means send the love of your life a dozen red roses, or spend some intimate, romantic time with him or her, but remember to let the other people in your life know that  they are important to you  and you love them because Valentine's Day is not just for lovers. It's for everyone you love.

What do  YOU think? Is Valentine's Day just for lovers?? What do you do in YOUR original country, or culture?  

Let me know what you think.  I value your comments.

1 comment:

  1. I would appreciate if you write something about the history of Saint Valentin so people can understand the reason of celebration ? :)


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