MAIA LATHROP / CLARION
Ah yes, the day after New Year’s only means one thing: love is in the air and out on every display at the store. Heart shaped cookies, pink and white cupcakes, and big red balloons aggress you as soon as you walk through the doors.
Valentine’s Day can be a sore spot for many. So much so that National Single Awareness Day is celebrated the very next day. It has become a holiday targeted at couples and is centered on buying and giving things. Capitalism once again targets a holiday and commercializes it.
Just because it’s been so commercialized doesn’t mean that it is not meaningful. There are so many different ways you can make Valentine’s Day enjoyable, no matter your relationship status.
Have some heart shaped treats. There’s just something so satisfying about digging into a snack that’s shaped like a heart. Depending on your mood, you can eat it normally or make it a broken heart before consuming. One of my traditions is to get the heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s and cut it like it’s broken…take that as you will.
Participate in the Yahara Journal’s Bad Love Poem contest. Roses are red, violets are blue, I’ve heard some cringey poems, and I’m sure you have, too. If you think you can top that, enter for a chance to win $25. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 14th.
Every year, I hear people bitterly recall that the day went by without receiving a valentine. Instead of feeling bitter, be the reason that someone else won’t be bitter by making valentines for friends or family.
Break out the old construction paper and make some valentines to send. Even if you don’t have fancy glitters and ribbons, any homemade card is guaranteed to make someone’s day. Even not having construction paper is no problem! Take normal paper and color it anyway you want. It’ll just add another layer of unique to each card you make. Bonus points for mailing them because then you’re also supporting the Post Office.
If arts and crafts isn’t your thing, send a text or e-mail. You can find lots of different pre-made e-mail designs with videos or colorful images. If emailing feels a little too formal, just shoot a text. Letting someone know that you are thinking of them can make their day. It doesn’t have to be a long, emotional message; something short and sweet will still impact them. Especially during this time of distance, it’s important to let people know that they are loved.
If none of these are your style, at least you can take advantage of the day after candy. The store has to clear out the pink to make way for an abundance of green for Saint Patrick’s Day. Go get a bunch of cheap candy!
Don’t let the traditional Valentine’s Day bring you down. Let the day be a reminder to you that love can be found wherever you look for it.