Valentine's Day isn't just for romance
The other day I asked a friend about his favorite Valentine's Day memory, and he said he didn't have one.
That bothered me because I think everyone should have at least one positive memory from the holiday, but maybe there is too much pressure on people – especially guys – to follow the commercialized norm and buy their sweethearts expensive flowers, candy and gifts.
I have another friend who wrote an entire blog entry devoted to why she dislikes Valentine's Day, and I think most of her negative opinion had to do with the way the holiday can make people who aren't in relationships feel even more lonely.
But the day doesn't necessarily have to be about a romantic dinner for two or gaudy, overpriced stuffed animals.
I think it should be like most of the other holidays we celebrate – a time to slow down and show your loved ones that you appreciate them.
When I was a kid, my family didn't do things like go to the movies or take summer vacations to the beach.
But my parents really went all out for holidays, including birthdays, Easter and Valentine's Day.
I think I looked forward to Valentine's Day even more than my birthday because on that day my younger sister and I would get off the school bus, speed down our gravel driveway and burst into the house to find goodies waiting for us on the kitchen table.
Each of us always received a multi-colored helium balloon, card and a large heart-shaped box of candy, and there might have been a small teddy bear, too.
So even if you're not dating or married, you can still use the holiday as an excuse to remind your family and friends how much you love them with a heartfelt voicemail, personalized greeting card or even a box of those heart-shaped candies with the messages on them.
After all, love doesn't have to be restricted to only couples and married people.