I know not everyone likes Valentine’s Day, but I choose to love it for the following reasons [don’t worry, they’re not all mushy. Several are downright crunchy.]:
V – Vino! Red wine and Valentine’s Day go together like Bonnie and Clyde. Maybe that’s not the best example. Romeo and Juliet? Darn it…okay, chocolate and peanut butter*. There.
A – All the chocolates. This is not the time to be picky. Russell Stover, Whitman’s, Esther Price, Godiva…if someone gives you a box of chocolates, do not judge. Do not whine about calories. Embrace the gift as an act of love and savor every bite.
L – Lenience. You thought I was going to say love, didn’t you? Be lenient with your significant other. There is such obscene pressure to go over-the-top on Valentine’s Day (looking at you, Facebook and Instagram AND Pinterest). There is nothing wrong with quieter gestures of love. A big ol’ price tag does not equal sincerity. Also, be lenient with yourself! If the hoopla surrounding Valentine’s Day gives you a rash and you want to disregard the day entirely, there’s nothing wrong with that. I repeat: THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Lenience.
E – Exercise. There are hearts everywhere this weekend. Why not do something for your actual heart? I myself am partial to running Valentine’s Day 5 or 10Ks, but exercise can take lots of forms. If your weather is as amiable as Albuquerque’s has been, take yourself (and maybe even your loved one) outside and get that heart rate up! Better yet, go dancing. Romance AND exercise for the win.
N – Napping. See “lenience” above.
T – Time. Some say that love isn’t spelled “l-o-v-e”; it’s spelled “t-i-m-e”. Not to mention that according to Gary Chapman, quality time is one of the five love languages, so what better day than Valentine’s to step off the twirling carousel of everyday life and give some time, either to yourself or a loved one?
I – Indulge. See “napping” above. And, disregarding all the lovey-dovey stuff for a moment, February is typically one of the gloomier months of the year. We’re smack dab in the middle of it. It’s time for a treat.
N – Needful Things. Or any scary movie. Hey, if you’re going to go anti-Valentine’s Day, go big or go home. Stephen King is usually a good bet.
E – Eating. Ahhh, one of the best parts of any holiday. Whether it’s breakfast in bed, candy, a heart-shaped pizza (they exist!), or a fancy dinner, seize the day and eat something delicious.
* Speaking of chocolate and peanut butter, now seems like a good time to share one of my favorite cookie recipes, courtesy of The Cookie Bible. So easy, so delicious, and it doubles beautifully when you’re feeling extra-generous. Or when your dog escapes and you want to make your neighbor a thank-you gift for catching her.
1 C crunchy peanut butter
1 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate chips to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and scoop (I use an ice cream scoop) onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes. Give them a few minutes to cool so you don’t burn your mouth, then enjoy.
Happy Valentine’s Day!