North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 13, 2013

Danielle Cater: Put a little effort in your Valentine’s Day

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Can you feel it in the air? It’s love. Ah yes, the month of love is upon us and tomorrow is represented as the day of love. The thought of Valentine’s Day is a great concept, but does it really serve its purpose?

Valentine’s Day is all about showing your love to the person you are romantically involved with. Whether  you are in junior high and tasting puppy love for the first time or celebrating your 50th year of wedded bliss, Valentine’s Day is that special day set aside to prove your love to your partner.

Since all holidays have become so commercialized, it’s hard to tell what is true love and what is just a day to line the pockets of every jeweler, candy shop and card maker in the world. True love really isn’t expressed in things that money can buy, it’s expressed throughout the year. Love can’t be contained in one day by showering your lover with candy and gifts, it needs to be done throughout the months... day by day and minute by minute.

Now if you are a jeweler, candy store owner or card maker, let me reassure you that I am in no way saying that these things shouldn’t happen on Valentine’s Day. I am, instead, saying that they shouldn’t JUST happen on Valentine’s Day. Gifts of gratitude should be given spontaneously throughout the year to accommodate what you may have planned for your Valentine’s evening.

What woman doesn’t want to open the door to her house after a long day at the office and find a little, black box containing a necklace that her husband went out of his way to purchase. What man wouldn’t love to pull up in the driveway to find that his wife bought him the grill that he had been eyeing at the store that week. But our gifts don’t have to be extravagant to prove our love. Some days it would mean more to your wife to get a foot rub or the dishes done instead of any amount of jewelry. And if you can’t afford that grill for your man, why not sweeten his day by leaving a romantic love note with his favorite candies in the seat of his truck when he leaves for work in the morning?

Valentine’s Day is the perfect kick in the head to remind us that romance isn’t dead and it needs to be practiced in order for us to have healthy relationships. But we can’t stop at just this one day of the year (and no, your anniversary isn’t the only other day that you can be romantic). Just consider writing a little note of appreciation to the one you love or telling your spouse how greatful you are to have them as your partner in this life. Fix his cup of coffee before he gets up in the morning or warm up her towel while she is in the shower... it really is the little things that matter the most.

Don’t get so caught up on the commercial side of this holiday that you miss the main idea that it is all about. It’s about a lifetime of love, not a couple of days every year that you have to go eat a steak and potato with your wife.

Dig a little deeper this year and make this day one for the books. Put some extra thought into it, and then next month, surprise your lover by having a Valentine’s Day in March also... continue this throughout the year and I can guarantee that your significant other won’t be complaining when it happens. Who knows, it might be just what the doctor ordered to kick the romance off to a whole new level in your relationship. It never hurts to actually try. So put a little effort behind Valentine’s Day this year.