Cherish those close to you this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is my thing.

Well, any holiday where baking and decorating are involved is sort of my thing. But Valentine’s Day is my designated holiday.

I mean, who doesn’t love love?

More chocolate than we actually need and over-priced flowers that only last a day or so are just a few of the seasonal things that demonstrate consumerism at its finest.

Plus, the story of St. Valentine puts the cherry on top of this already awesome holiday.

Weeks of planning, days of baking and my Pinterest usage goes up significantly in preparation and the finished product is kind of amazing.

This year, however, things are going a little differently.

I don’t know if it is all the snow from Snowpocolypse Part Two or my senioritis kicking in, but this year I am not as enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day.

If Dr. Seuss made a spin-off of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and placed the Grinch in a Valentine’s Day scenario, it would probably best describe my feelings this year.

I still love the holiday, but my heart is not into it this year (pun half-heartedly intended).

As shocked as I am to be deciding this, I think it is for the best.

Valentine’s Day should not be about the baking and the gift giving, but it should be about appreciating what, and who, we truly love. And we should be grateful for them.

It may be hard to see sometimes, but I do have a lot to be grateful for.

I have a loving, though somewhat crazy, family who is there to support me no matter what.

My brother is serving our country and I am extremely thankful that I get to spend a few days with him this weekend.

My 13-year-old sister keeps me smiling with her newfound teenage attitude and demeanor.

My friends are always just a phone call away for days that are like a complete waste of make-up.

They are there with face wipes and enough laughter to give anyone a good workout.

For example, they are the Swiss and cheddar to my brie because we cheesin’.

(Sorry, but I could just not resist.)

UDM is still great, as usual, even when there is a foot of snow on the ground.

I don’t know what next year will bring, but I know that my time here has prepared me for whatever is to happen.

We never know what is going to happen, so that is all the more reason to show our love to the ones we care about.

We should be like Forrest Gump and treat life like a box of chocolates, and not just on Valentine’s Day.

Instead of focusing on what is inside and worrying about what chocolates you are going to get, we should pass the box along and share whatever happens with the ones we care about. 

While I may not be going all out this year, chocolate, family and friends definitely make any day feel like Valentine’s Day.

And that is enough for me.

Jackson is VN editor-in-chief