The Purest Love: A Reflection on Celebrating Valentine's Day / a picture of a mother and young daughter

The Purest Love

Melissa Gosselin

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Valentine’s Day is around the corner — heart-themed store displays and chocolate galore! It got me curious about how different families celebrate. Is Valentine’s Day about romantic love for you — the day you call a babysitter, go out to a fancy dinner with your spouse? Or is it about celebrating all different kinds of love — like the love in your friendships, towards your children, maybe even towards your pet(s)? Do you ignore it altogether, not even bother celebrating in the hustle and bustle of everyday life? 

Today, I want to reflect on Valentine’s Day, the ways I’ve celebrated at each stage of my life. 

I have memories of waking up to a Valentine’s Day bundle from my mom — my brother and I would each receive a card and our favorite chocolate bar, wrapped in red-tinted cellophane, on the kitchen table before school. 

And of course, I remember being a kid, being so excited to give out my Little-Mermaid-themed Valentines to all my friends, to read the notes I received, eat all the candy. I remember how our teacher had a contest: she’d put two red cinnamon hearts into Tim Hortons Timbits, and the students who found them were crowned King and Queen of Valentine’s Day (we got to wear a special hat and everything!). I dreamed of someday being chosen, of finding that red heart, but alas, it was not to be. 

When I was a teenager, Valentine’s Day was about whether or not I had a boyfriend. Sometimes I’d dream about my crush slipping a note into my locker — any secret admirer for that matter! If I was single, I’d have movie nights with my girlfriends; if I wasn’t, I’d bask in the glory of having a boyfriend buy me chocolate. 

In early adulthood, Valentine’s Day might remind me of a breakup, and the day itself would become about self-care — my favorite dinner and movie, a good cry if I needed it, long chats with a close friend. 

And what is Valentine’s Day about now? It’s about appreciating the people I have in my life, about being grateful. I know that genuine friends, a loving family, a boyfriend — the love of a mother — should be treasured. It’s about letting people know how important they are, about celebrating the warmth of love in the dead of winter. It’s about making tiny deposits in our relationships, having those relationships blossom . . . bloom all year round. 

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Let me know in the comments below. 

If you’re looking for a great gift, check out ButterTree Blankets

Like this reflection, want to read more? Check out Making Memories and get ideas for creating special moments (without candy!).

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