At my house, we do not celebrate Valentine's Day because Hallmark or American Greetings says so. We celebrate Valentine's Day because it's an opportunity to turn a sappy day into something fun as a family. If you want to know the true origin of Valentine's Day, you can go here. But for me, Valentine's Day became something fun, creative and different in 2001 when Meg and I first spent February 14 with a very nervous Greg.
For a guy, Valentine's Day is territory that must be carefully navigated, much like a minefield or teaching Steve Wozniak to dance. But he scored. Big. On the first one. He came over to my single mom apartment (complete with a 19" TV) and surprised me with When Harry Met Sally DVD (my favorite rom-com at the time & only my 2nd DVD to own). But the best surprise was the gigantic assortment of valentines candy that he gave Meg (I think he bought everything on display at krogers) and the look of pure excitement on her 7-year-old face. Of course, it was followed with the look of "do you think mom will actually let me eat all this?!" For me, that was the best Valentine's gift - that he made such an effort to make Valentine's day special for my pumpkin. Keep in mind, we had only been dating for 6 weeks or so at this point, so gift buying and the underlying message it sends had to have been tough for him. But he scored. Big. We were both happy.
The second year, as we were shopping at krogers (afterall, we were in Athens-krogers was the only place you could shop) and Greg was bemoaning the pressures of valentine's day for a guy - you know, the cliche evening of candy, flowers, restaurant - and I said "let's just do tacos. It's not a big deal.". This Sunday will be our 9th valentine's day dinner of tacos. We have not missed a single one and, this year, Bridget will enjoy tacos, too!
So no matter what your V-day tradition is, I hope that you're spending the day doing something you love!