On the kitchen table are cards and chocolates for all the people I love. In my morning email was a singing telegram from a dear friend. The kids have their valentines all inscribed and packed into backpacks, ready for school today.

I’ll be in my daughter’s 5th grade class to take part in a friendship party, where the kids pass around papers and each classmate writes what they like about that person. To go home with a long list of all the good about you is truly a gift.

When I was religious, we didn’t observe Valentine’s Day, due to its Christian roots. It killed my mother to not be able to send cards to my kids. The year I shed my ultra-religiosity, the cards arrived in red and pink envelopes, days early, ready for tearing open.

Earlier this week, a manila envelope arrived. Four kids, four cards, all sparkly and filled with love.

It’s just a day. Just like any other day. Just another opportunity to show love and appreciation. Just another invitation to celebrate our relationships and connections.

Tonight, my husband and I are not going out. For shame! How dare we not contribute to the inflated economy of Valentine’s.

But really. I’d rather stay in our cozy home just the two of us alone and slow-cook a nice, reassuring dinner to share over the intimate kitchen nook table and sip our wine with pure enjoyment. And then…well, I won’t write about that part here. It’s not for public consumption.

But the ideas are. The mere idea of reconnection, of putting in a little effort to strengthen your bond and deepen your relationship – we need a day for that? I guess so.

It’s our consumer economy. If we go too long without an excuse to buy a pretty card with just the right message, what would we do?

I love the flurry of well-wishes and smiles on Valentine’s Day. That’s what it is for me.

So go and show love today. Share your heart. But use it as a jumping-off point, a starting gate of sorts, so that every day becomes an excuse to love another.

Then we’ll have something to celebrate.

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