I don't know why (or when) I have become this sort-of holiday grump. Having similar feelings this past Christmas, I guess I am just "over" holidays right now. Lately I have become more aware of what values I have placed on worldly things and how that stuff doesn't really matter and what matters is love and relationships and how I decide to honor a God that saves me every day of my life.
Not to say the feeling behind holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day aren't important, because they are. I just all of a sudden get kind of sick to my stomach thinking about the money people spend on such events and then the vain need to tell everyone (on Facebook) what their loved one did for them this year.
This year we had plans of maybe using a Groupon that we purchased a while ago for a local restaurant (which is where we actually spent V-Day at last year). As it turned out, my patients were to be my Valentine for a short four hour work day, so we nixed the idea of dinner (maybe next week instead?) and invited friends over for a game night. Is it strange that we are comfortable spending a "Lover's Holiday" with people other than just one another? I don't think so. I think it's the best way to spend the day! So, tonight we played a game of dominoes, snacked on grapes and peanut-buttery chocolatey cookies, and laughed until our heads fell off (Radiohead reference; yes, honey, that is my V-Day gift to you).
After everyone left, we were lounging in the living room when I looked up at our fireplace mantle and saw a book between the candle and the clock. All of a sudden I remembered: I used to care about this holiday very much.
Years ago I spent hours upon hours writing (what my friends would later call it) "cryptic" notes on a typewriter to be sent in the mail from an "Anonymous" person. The year before I think I cut out small paper hearts and wrote nice things and mailed them along in hopes that my friends would know how much I care for them. And while I was living in Tampa, I woke up one morning to make a special breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, strawberries, and OJ (all of this accomplished while I was still in my hippie phase, long before my current domesticity phase) along with hand-written cards and long stem roses for my favorite boys. In essence, a lot of time was spent on a holiday that I now swear up and down I don't care for.
The book on the mantle? Something I created for J., my then best friend. That year after I made the book, I took photographs of it and sent an e-mail to my closest friends (the USF duo and A., K. & M.) for opinions. Tonight we leafed through the book together, and well, it was sort-of fun! February 2008 marked the beginning of my new cleansed self -- it was the year that I asked Christ to be my Savior. I have never looked back, but it is interesting to take a look back. (:
A lot of the writings in this book I made for J. are Tagore poems (read him if you haven't!), scripture, personal anecdotes, poems and snippets of short stories that I loved. I had mailed J. a copy of Fahrenheit 451 (another favorite writer of mine) with a small key stuck inside it weeks before Valentine's Day. It was, of course, the key to my heart, ahhhh-dun-dun. Other than writings, there are earlier sketches my be, Polaroids, and photograph collages. I also left clues throughout the book for a special gift for J. to find, kind of like a scavenger hunt. (It was a bonsai tree that is now dead, which shouldn't be any reflection of our relationship but maybe a foreshadowing of my feelings toward this day? Ha.) (Is it any more obvious how completely in love I was with him already? Jeez.)
It took me a while to find the photos of said book, but I thought it would be fun to upload and share with you all, as a tribute to my former self -- and maybe to rekindle some of that extra joy I had in this holiday.
And just for good measure, my old roommate and good friend, M., on Valentine's Day in 2006:
See the stack of pancakes behind him? (:
How do you feel about this holiday? Did you celebrate?