We're into the last week in January already and that means Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I think Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. You might expect that from a romance writer, but my reasons probably aren't the ones you'd think.
For the most part, Valentine's Day is a holiday with low expectations, especially when you've been married for 17 years and you know exactly how much (or in some cases how little) to expect there.
Valentine's Day comes shortly after the Christmas season. Now there's a holiday with expectations attached! After all demands of Christmas it's nice to experience a holiday dedicated to love - of family and friends as well as spouses and other significant others - that does not require you to do anything.
So if I decide to send a card to a friend, or buy some candy for the kids, it is appreciated. But if I'm busy and choose to skip those things, no one is really disappointed.
I'm not saying I love my friend any less if I don't send a card. It's just nice to feel that you have a choice about it. With Christmas sometimes it seems like you are being dragged along into a storm of activity that has somewhere along the way lost its meaning. Every year I contemplate how to change this, but am not brave enough to suggest radical measures - such as no gifts, or not volunteering to help with the Sunday School Christmas program.
So when I do something to observe Valentine's Day it is a free expression of love. Doesn't that feel better than trying to live up to expectations that have grown out of proportion over the years? How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?