I am again going to step a bit outside the political arena and address a topic that is very close to my heart . . . pun intended. I love Valentine's Day! I have loved it since I was a little girl and we exchanged cards and candies in our classrooms. Of course, I grew to love it even more as I became a teenager with boyfriends so that V-Day involved flowers, stuffed animals, and dates. And, now, as a grown woman it sometimes even involves jewelry or other delightful gifts!
But, what I have always loved most about Valentine's Day, yes even more than the chocolate and the carnations, is that it is a celebration of love and romance. Something that I think we need to truly celebrate a lot more in a time when so much hate and anger seems to be trying to close in on our lives.
I enjoy celebrating V-Day as a family and as a couple. For instance, this year my husband and I will go out on a date this evening. Just the two of us. For a more personal celebration of our love for one another. We will take a few hours to cherish one another and enjoy each other's company. He has not yet told me what he has planned, but I know it will involve dinner and probably something fun. But, what's most important is renewing our relationship on a regular basis, which is not always easy in the hectic schedule we keep. I hope all married couples I know take a bit of time this weekend to do the same. It is a worthy endeavor!
Tomorrow evening we will celebrate as a family. Our youngest daughter and two of our grandchildren live with us. This is our first Valentine's Day living all together and we will be reprising an old tradition we held when our daughters were growing up. We will have a Red, White, & Pink Dinner!
The table will be set with red, white and pink linens (many of them given to me by my mother or handed down from my grandmothers). The centerpiece will be a V-Day themed Pinterest project I made last year during a crafting day with my oldest daughter and her friends. We will use my pink transfer ware dishes (given to me by my mother), pink depression glass serving pieces (mostly collected for me by my father), and my modern pink glassware. The menu will most likely consist of home-made pretzels shaped like hearts, sliced strawberries, spaghetti with red sauce, and red sparkling grape juice. For dessert there will be a pink frosted cake.
When I set the table I will place a gift at each place setting. We will open them before we start dinner. There will also be another tradition, a red heart shaped box of chocolates (updated to sugar-free) as a gift for the family to share over the weekend.
My daughters waited in great anticipation when they were young for us to have our Red, White, & Pink Dinner. My grandchildren, especially my granddaughter who wishes to help prepare for it, are excited. I have to admit I am more than a little bit excited, too!
I am excited because I think traditions are important. I think they help to weave strong threads into a family, which can lead to stronger threads within a community, and ultimately make the fabric of a nation stronger. I think traditions are being trampled out in much of America today. Many traditions are criticized as being "politically incorrect" in any one of a gazillion ways. I think it is just the hatred of many of the Progressives for things that are often founded on the rock-solid principles of God, family, and patriotism. I think they also bear a lot of dislike for things that are just plain ol' fun!
Anyway, my husband, my family, and I will be celebrating the archaic holiday with a great deal of love and joy. We will enjoy the old-fashioned traditions of a date night and of a family dinner. We will exchange gifts and express our love. We will have fun. And, we will thank our Maker for another opportunity to do so! I hope all y'all will, too!!!
© Suzann C. Darnall, FEBRUARY 2014