Remember when Valentine’s Day had one rule: inclusivity? If you were going to bring valentines, you HAD to bring enough for everyone in the class. This rule both simplified and complicated. I think back on my third grade crush, Stuart. I was thrilled at this obligated opportunity to “Valentine him”—but oh, the selection scrutiny. The challenging conversation hearts added another layer of necessary diligence. Of course, my sister and I screened them all before tucking them into their tiny white envelopes. Some just wouldn’t do, like “be my boyfriend” or “true love.” Obviously, the only choice was to eat those.
Another underlying complication was the competition within the holiday. For example, I wanted to have the “best” candy. One year, I felt I secured the win: my cards incorporated lifesavers into the pictures. (How can you beat colorful train wheels made from mini four packs of flavors?) Even in this card comparison, the heart of simple giving remained. Somewhere, years later, we took the “you have this and I don’t” game to the big leagues. In that arena, it’s no secret: it’s easy to feel “more single” this day than others. However, I’m wondering if a return back to the spirit of decorated lunch bags and thoughtful generosity might sack some of that stigma.
What if this year, the competition came back to the candy—so to speak? I’m not saying you need to sprinkle gifts out to complete strangers (that’s not everyone’s thing). But what if instead of the zoom button being on “what others have” it was a tiny bit more about who we could love well in our life-path? Of course, this can couple with the relationship red hearts.
I wonder about ways to show intentional inclusivity on this holiday that can feel exclusive, and I’d love your suggestions. After all, if Valentine’s Day is ALL about love, then wouldn’t MORE be a merrier sort of thing?
Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)
There are so many sites to download FREE Valentines! Here are a few: