Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why I don't do "Valentine's Day"

I surprised my students the other day.  They asked me during class what I and Mrs. Hackman would be doing for Valentine's Day?

"Probably nothing." I replied.  They were a bit taken aback figuring a guy like me would take advantage of a day like that.

I'll come back to what happened in a minute.

I personally find Valentine's Day to be something forced and artificial.  Granted, when I was a young child I loved the classroom exchange of cards organized by the teacher.  In and amidst the nice, friendship affirming greetings from other playground pals, there was the chance, albeit ever so small, that the cute girl in class MAY, just may, write something that meant something a little more. :)

But over the years things got weird.  Couples, and particularly men,  come under the pressure of producing some artificial token of love on the artificially conceived Feb 14.  When a guy from the church men's group I was in years ago organized a meeting to discuss what we were going to do for our wives for Valentine's Day, he was shocked that many of the other men's wives did hold the "romantic" day in the high regard his wife did.  In fact he confessed one of the main reasons he broached the subject was because of the high expectation level she had that he produce something special for the day.

Yes, I could make the traditional arguments about Valentine's Day.  That it's an fake holiday which benefits no one other than the card, flower, and chocolate companies.  All true of course, but Tammy and I have our own reason for not really doing Valentine's Day.

It's really just not OUR day!

Which brings me back to my classroom discussion...

I explained to them that Tammy and I already have our special days, "Oct. 8, the day I met her, April 4th, our wedding anniversary, and Dec 7th, the day we fell in love."

They seemed a little perplexed on the last one. "How did you know you fell in love on Dec. 7th?" they responded.

"Because," I smiled, "I fell in love."

The class responded with "ooohs", "aahhhs", and admiration.

And THAT is how its done.  Here endeth the lesson!!


Anonymous said...

I completely agree Steve. Matthew and I don't celebrate this day either. I've always felt that this is a hallmark holiday.


Bob said...

We got engaged on Valentine's Day. I have no choice but to celebrate.

Roshan Easo said...

Hi Steve. I'm from Texas. Found your site through Paul Ellis' blog, Appreciate the pieces I've seen on your site (i.e. election/politics. My family members are a mix of both parties). May I ask, What is your opinion on "falling" in love? Seems to be a sticking point in some Christian circles (possibly in other religions/cultures as well?). Cheerio. :-)

Steve H. said...

Hi Roshan,

Thanks for the comment and I apologize for the late reply. I think "falling" in love is a "natural" reaction people have. That doesn't make it right or wrong per se but we are wired by God to respond to the opposite sex in a certain way and some are going to appeal more than others. Maybe its more appropriate to say, "falling in attraction". I don't think that should be confused with love though as I believe love is a choice. I'm been married now for 20 years and love my wife but could "fall in love" with someone else if I made bad choices. When one is single the romantic "falling in love" is good to get the phone ringing though but if you're married...procede with extreme caution :) Hope that answers the question