Valentine’s Day and Moments of Joy

There are many opportunities for small moments of joy on Valentine’s day. You don’t need to wait for someone to shower you with gifts of love. Cards, candy and flowers always bring joy, but receiving such gifts depends on other people who may forget or choose the wrong things. Why not look for moments of joy to appreciate? Moments of joy come from everyday things that are magnified when observed with love and attention. With this strategy, you won’t be disappointed on Valentine’s Day.  Whether in a marriage or partnership or living a single life, you decide how to focus on moments of joy to celebrate this holiday.

Moments of Joy on Valentine's Day -- photo courtesy of Denise Johnson on Unsplash
Moments of Joy on Valentine’s Day — photo courtesy of Denise Johnson on Unsplash

A Day for Couples and Relationships

February 14 is a day for love. Couples dinners, bouquets of roses, and gifts of jewelry are often offered as symbols of love within a couple relationship. An unexpected gift such as a spa day or a romantic weekend trip is a bonus.

Relationships of all types can be celebrated with joy.  This is a day when parent/child/grand-child/step-child relationships are acknowledged. It’s also a day to acknowledge friendships. I think of my bridge buddies, my book club friends, and people with whom I’ve shared travel and other significant life events. People in relationships are happier especially when there is an acknowledgement of what the relationship means.

Many people use Valentine’s Day to honour each other. Family dinners, lunches with friends, movie outings, ski excursions, and meetups are scheduled.

After 50 plus years of marriage, I remember the small moments of joy on Valentine’s Day more than big events. Most of these are associated with special relationships. My husband is not the most demonstrative man. He often forgets significant dates but I fondly remember those unexpected breakfasts in bed, those carefully chosen cards with loving messages, and the times I was surprised with a delivery of flowers when he was out of the country on February 14.  Once he came home from his office with a bottle of bubbly to celebrate — no food, but nice wine!

I also cherish the gifts of love that I received from our son during the ‘growing up’ years including a pencil holder with hand-drawn flowers and hearts when he was a Montessori toddler and those phone calls to say ‘I love you mom’ when he was away at university. Now that I’m a grandmother, the hand-made cards and pictures are coming again — this time from a granddaughter who loves drawing and making small gifts.

Celebrations for Singles

If you don’t have a partner, you can love yourself with a moment of joy to celebrate. After all, you are a special person in your life.

You can begin the day by focusing on self-care. Perhaps you’ll give yourself a special gift — like that beautiful silk scarf you admired.  Or you’ll treat yourself to some lovely dark chocolate with a cup of really good coffee. Perhaps you’ll take time for a massage or a pedicure. Sometimes a half hour of self-care spent writing in a journal or going to a yoga class creates a moment of joy. When you honour yourself with gratitude, you’ll find those moments of joy.

Many singles prefer to hide out rather than celebrate. If you spend the day alone, do it with style.  Sometimes ‘me’ time re-charges the soul. There’s nothing wrong with solitude.

Many single people and Valentine’s day haters choose anti-Valentine’s celebrations. Instead of rolling your eyes, think about creating small moments of joy by hosting a party for other singles complete with ‘gag’ gifts.

A Retailer’s Delight

Retailers know that Valentine’s Day spending helps the bottom line. It’s the first major Hallmark holiday after Christmas.

Flower shops and restaurants anticipate an influx of customers on Valentine’s Day. Increasingly other kinds of retail shops find methods to entice purchases.  Who knew that gifts for pets on Valentine’s Day would become popular? Do cats or dogs or budgies expect a present? Should I put a heart-shaped balloon in the pot of my rubber tree because plants are said to have feelings?  This seems like duty-bound commercialism in the extreme.

In 2018 the National Retail Federation in the US estimated that consumers spent over $19 Billion dollars.  People younger than 35 spent more money celebrating than elders.  Is this because romance is gone for those of us older than 35? For those in middle years, money gets targeted at other priorities such as parenting costs and mortgages.  In later years many people no longer have a significant other on whom to lavish gifts; therefore spending on romantic gifts plummets. For many, gifts of experiences are more important than tangibles.

Retailers count on feelings of generosity to show love. Yet, how does a bouquet of flowers compensate for discord in a relationship?  An obligatory gift that feels like a forced romantic gesture cannot give a message other than one of forced sentimentality.    Perhaps we can learn to give generously to others with deeds.  Treating the people we love with kindness, courtesy, and respect counts more than a sparkly card with empty phrases.

Valentine’s Day at our House

The contagion of our 5-year-old granddaughter anticipating Valentine’s Day celebrations has infected our family. Since the beginning of February, my granddaughter and I have been planning a celebration dinner for our family o February 13.  We’ve shopped for special treats.  We’ve purchased assorted sizes of heart-shaped cookie cutters.  I’ll have a batch of sugar cookies ready when I pick her up early from school on February 13, the day of our dinner.  We’ll ice these cookies and decorate them.  She’ll help me set up the table with a red table cloth and white dishes. I’ve knitted assorted heart-shaped stuffies for table favours.  To ensure that I have the energy to enjoy the dinner, we’ll order food!

On Valentine’s Day itself, my husband and I have reservations for an early dinner at a popular restaurant that we’ve read about but never visited.  Afterward, we’re off to a live theatre performance! It may be winter in Canada but anticipation fills my heart! These thoughts bring moments of joy into my life.

Thanks for reading my post.  I hope you find moments of joy on Valentine’s Day regardless of how you celebrate!

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