I know, I know - Valentine's Day is just an excuse from Hallmark, florists and candy makers to make anyone and everyone feel guilty about not wanting to really participate in this holiday.... but I think we all have something to learn and enjoy from sharing in this holiday.
While raising our family, I know we celebrated Valentine's day - making sure each child had cards for all their friends, maybe a small gift for them and usually a special dinner. Al and I didn't really ever plan an evening out for Valentine's - with his schedule it was pretty futile. Office hours, surgeries and call schedules didn't often allow for romantic dinners out. But, we did remember each other - in small ways - a card or gift sometimes but mostly I remember his sweet kiss on my cheek as he left for work and having him whisper "I love you." These were the moments my fairy tale dreams were made of.
Valentine's Day at our store started weeks before - orders arriving, vases to be unpacked and the store decorated. Even through the piles of rose leaves on our floor and the thorn pricks (I still have a thorn tip in my thumb I can't get out!) and the really long hours, we still found joy in what we were doing. The young loves - romances just budding - knowing they want to do something special but having never been in a flower shop before - so many ideas to choose from, left some feeling overwhelmed and begging for advice! Long lasting forever and ever loves whose request was "to make it as special as she is." Teddy bears and boxes of chocolate were flying out the door. The faces on some of those bears appeared to be smiling when they were chosen to go home as someone's valentine. I know I may sound ridiculous to some but I have come to appreciate this holiday much more - when you are able to help a customer express their love for someone else and knowing the smiles that will follow, the holiday doesn't seem quite so commercial anymore. (I still don't like having Valentine's candy in the store on January 1st, though!)
Some of my co-workers had started dreading Valentines even before Christmas - long hours, hundreds of deliveries and trying to please every customer who walked through the door would be challenging; but somehow we did manage to make it through still smiling and laughing with each other. We ran out of red roses - really any red flower (we had used thousands of red roses alone ) around 3 pm - which made those guys coming in at 5 a little fretful and we were so ready to close the door at 5:30 (we ended up being open until after 6) but as we cleaned up the store and headed home - I believe we were thankful to have helped others enjoy their Valentine's Day.
Whether it was four dozen roses in a vase or a single gerbera daisy - love was in the air! The simple act of remembering someone else - a new love, or a lifetime love, a parents love or a child's love, co-workers and friends, we all want to feel loved and even though it may not seem like a natural expression because of all the ads - the demonstration by one for another will not be forgotten and will be a blessing to them. So, even though there is so much advertising to celebrate Valentine's with flowers, candy, dinner or teddy bears; I am glad that there is one day that we are "coerced" to remembering the loves in our lives - because the joy we bring them comes back to us many times over.
Isn't this what Christ desires most for us - to know His love for us and that He will not forsake us on this or any other day. His love for us, demonstrated by His death on a cross, for our eternal life and happiness.