Family Traditions:

I Love You Day

My husband I decided not to celebrate Valentine’s Day when we were married as there are various legends and stories about how  Valentine’s Day came to be celebrated.  Some of these stories were lovely stories that seemed very plausible while there were other stories that we were not happy to embrace.

As with every “special day” on our calendar, Valentine’s Day too, has become a highly commercialised occasion and everyone is frantically looking for a way to “surprise” the one they like/admire/love, etc. with businesses asking ridiculous prices for cards, treats, meals and flowers.

When I was in high school, there was a Valentine’s Day Card box and you could anonymously post a valentines card to someone you “liked”.  I always wondered if I would “make it” on someone’s list of girls to “like” to receive a Valentine’s Day card. My concern was selfish and mostly very disappointing as I never received a card, except when I was in my matric year, and then, I didn’t know who sent it anyway.  With my history of disappointment in the whole Valentine’s Day concept, it is no wonder that it holds no great appeal for me.

About 7 years ago, I was mulling over the whole Valentine ‘s Day hype.  One thought led to another and I began to think of the Biblical principle of love and affirming others, especially those closest to us.  I decided to try something different that year, the idea was inspired by something I had seen on T.V…..

It all came about when I was watching the My Friends Tigger and Pooh TV series that we had taped for our children to watch when they were little.  I have been a fan of Winnie the Pooh since I was a little girl, so I would sit with my children and watch this series that has been developed based on the Winnie the Pooh characters.

My favourite episode was the episode when little Roo realises that it is “I Love You Day” and he wants to give his Mama a gift.  He spends the whole episode trying to find a way to give his mother an “I Love You Day” gift.  Each attempt fails and finally all he can do is to say “Happy I Love You Day” and give his Mama a hug.  This is of course ended up being the best gift of all.

We as a family have a tradition, which we began about 7 years ago and which we do actually celebrate on the 14th of February.  We call it “I Love You Day”.

And so …. For the past  few years, we celebrate I Love You Day as a family to express our appreciation for one another.  We make special decorations, bake a cake and have a special meal to celebrate God’s love for us and our love for one another.  We also find ways to express that love to others outside of our family like baking cookies or sometimes inviting other family members to join us for our meal or just sending a special message to someone to let them know how much we appreciate them.

Family traditions are important and very meaningful when they focus on building one another up.  I love that our focus is on others and making them feel special as opposed to that terrible concern I had as a young girl, wondering if I would “make it” on top of someone’s list of people to “like” to receive a Valentine’s Day card.

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