Today is Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. It is as much a holiday as any—there’s planning, preparing, gift-giving, celebrating, partying, and all that fun stuff left and right.
So much buzz goes around just for this special day. A Hollywood film with a star-studded cast was even created for the solitary purpose of highlighting this extraordinary day of love.
Broadly speaking, sure, Valentine’s is a day for couples and lovers with dear ol’ Cupid tagging along, bow and arrow at the ready. But looking back on historical texts, the history of Valentine’s Day is obscure and clouded by many different legends.
Valentine’s Day was said to be St. Valentine’s feast day, but which St. Valentine they intended to honor remains a mystery. Based on history books, there were at least three early Christian saints by the name of St. Valentine. One was a priest in Rome, another a bishop in Terni, and of the third St. Valentine, almost nothing is known except that he met his death in Africa.
However, it is important to note that, astonishingly, all three Valentines were martyred on Feb. 14. Martyrdom, an act of utter sacrifice, is the truest and most sincere act of love.
Love, complicated or otherwise, comes in all shapes and sizes, and it chooses no one. One way or another, each of us has crossed paths with love, and experienced what it has to offer.
Should Valentine’s Day then be a momentous occasion only for those with someone special in their lives? I don’t think so. We should treat Valentine’s Day not as the glorification of romance, but as a celebration of love in all its forms—love for yourself, your family and friends, your community and the world.
With that, we’ve come up with ideas on how to have a meaningful and memorable Valentine’s Day filled with love.
Indulge yourself. Since Valentine’s Day is all about love, spending the day loving yourself makes perfect sense. You probably spend the rest of the year doing things for other people. There’s no harm in treating yourself to what you really deserve once in a while. Skip your diet for the day, and eat whatever makes you happiest. Pamper yourself with a spa day or a mani-pedi. You can even spend a simple day at home, fixing and rearranging your room or watching your favorite TV series. Give yourself some love.
Go for some family lovin’. Oftentimes, we get too preoccupied with worldly things that we tend to forget the people who have showered us with love since the day we said our first “hello” to the world. Spend the day with your family and focus on them. Appreciate their love, and in return, give them yours. Remind yourself that you don’t need to look further to feel loved.
Gather up your (single) friends. Go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and be each other’s dates. You can also have a movie marathon and catch up on what’s been going on in your lives. Go shopping until your feet get tired. There’s no need to host an anti-Valentine’s Day party for all the singles out there. Simply laugh the day away with your good friends. After all, laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.
Find something new to love. Admit it, you’ve always had something you always wanted to do. But with some legitimate or made-up excuse, you’ve managed to keep that desire at bay and eternally unfulfilled. Regardless of how simple it may be, do it because you love it.
Interested in taking up Pilates? Do it. Want to cook the most sumptuous fettuccine pasta? Go for it. Dreaming of starting your own little business? Get on with it. Nothing is holding you back but yourself. Just let loose and go after what you want.
Send love someone else’s way. Studies show that kindness spreads. So, go ahead, start an epidemic. Give Valentine’s Day cards to the people around you. You can also choose to give love to people you don’t know. Spend the day volunteering. Help out at relief centers for typhoon victims, celebrate with the lolo and lola at a home for the aged, or visit children at an orphanage. Trust me—by sharing some love, you will receive more love in return.
What makes Valentine’s Day special is the mere fact that it was born out of love. It is also the perfect excuse to be cheesy, giddy and extraordinarily loving. But, just like any other holiday, Valentine’s Day only comes once a year. So, make the most of it and be generous with love.
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