Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine’s Day 2014: The Start of a New Tradition

Hey there, friends! I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love and delicious food. I, myself, had a classy but sub-par Burgerville dinner (Zip's is way better). 

Last week I was talking to a good friend of mine about Valentine’s Days of past. We joked around, and I admitted how I’d like to be bitter about being single on Valentine’s Day, but when it comes down to it I never could be. I don’t really care enough because it’s just another day. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t mind romantic gestures, but I don’t have the time to waste being sad and bitter that no one is expressing any for me, you know? I’ve got better things to be doing. Like you know, studying for my Master’s. I’m pretty neutral about the holiday. Surprising, I know, compared to my thoughts on NewYear’s Eve

That’s when my friend surprised me by telling me how he really likes Valentine’s Day because he likes the thought of so many people around him in love.

I thought it was such a unique perspective on the day, and it got me thinking: what about all the other single people I know? What about all my other friends who don’t get told often enough how much they’re appreciated? Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love. What ever happened to showing your friends love, like we did in elementary school? What if I did something for some of them, to where they could feel just a little more loved and appreciated on a day when so many people feel lonely?

I adore the idea of receiving something so meticulously handmade, with so much love poured into it, mailed miles and miles until it settles to a rest in somewhere in a mailbox. Something bursting with terrible jokes and corny puns. Or just plain inappropriate, something that throws you off and makes you laugh until you cry. And I wanted to share that idea with more people.

Last weekend I put out a call on Facebook: anyone interested in a handmade Valentine card, send your address my way and I’ll mail you one!

I made my cards with only things I had on hand. Part of being a frugal grad student is making do with what you have, and most of it came from the dollar store at some point anyway, so it was a fairly low-cost craft. The only thing I had to buy was more stamps; the response I got was greater than I anticipated. With Netflix, endless cups of tea, and a few art supplies, it was a very enjoyable way to spend a snowy weekend.

I think I made around 15 cards total, and tried to personalize each one in some way, whether it be an inside joke the recipient and I share, or simply some pop culture reference I knew they were fond of. It was exhausting, but way worth it! 

Here are a few of my favorites that I made:
For my parents.
Jesse Pinkman, for my sister
For the horror-enthusiast friend
Hank Hill, because how could you not, hwat?
And of course, Tobias Funke for the Arrested Development fan. 
Oh, and you know what completely blew me away? I had friends telling me, “Hey, give me your address too! I’m gonna make you a Valentine!” Or from some of my local friends, “I’ll bake you something in exchange for a card!” That was something I didn’t expect at all. It was a very heart-warming experience.

One of the nice cards I received! 
But my point is: Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sometimes the most thoughtful, romantic gestures cost close to nothing and simply have so much care and love put into them. And sometimes the most rewarding feeling isn’t receiving something, but doing something thoughtful and kind for others. I think this is a thing I’m going to try to do every year from now on, whether or not I stay single. And I encourage you to do it too!

Plus, I think I’d rather be given a dozen doughnuts than roses, anyway; flowers are so overrated. Or a dozen of any sort of delicious baked good. Better yet: a dozen of some delicious HOMEMADE baked good. Oh man, be still my heart!  

And on that note, I leave you with these questions:

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve been given?
Will you participate in the Valentine card-making extravaganza next year?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...