Jim Gaffigan (one of my favorite comedians) went on CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend and proposed – nay – pleaded to get rid of Valentine’s Day as a holiday. He doesn’t address the Christian roots of the holiday, but the secular treatment of it. See for yourself:
What do you think?
I happen to agree with him, though both he and I would also probably agree that the amount of money spent this week would overrule us.
When my wife, Tiffany, and I started dating I made the “bold” move to not really celebrate the day. To my luck, she was completely on board with avoiding the greeting cards, gamble chocolates and heart-shaped chalk antacids that Gaffigan addresses in the video. Though, truth be told, we still had a date, but that was more a matter of coincidence since Valentine’s Day occurred over the weekend that year and we happened to hang out most every weekend.
With that precedent established, we haven’t really ever celebrated the day. Just think of all the stress (of coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day date) and money (on the aforementioned cards, chocolate and candy) I’ve saved. My wife is truly amazing! (For far more reason that this).
The point my wife and I hang on to – the one that Jim Gaffigan stressed in his commentary – is that we don’t need just one day to remind each other we’re in love. At least not a made-for-Hallmark holiday. That’s what our anniversary is for. That’s what our birthdays are for. That’s what our Saturday mornings are for. That’s what the days filled with family fun are for. That’s what the days filled with challenges are for.
What? You don’t think that challenging days are ones you can show your wife you love her? On the contrary – they are some of the best ones. I know that when a challenging day or week comes by, it’s an opportunity for me to stick through it with Tiffany. To exhibit my own strength and resilience. And at the end of the day, when I lay my head down, it’s next to hers. I haven’t run away from the challenge – whether that be one that involves an outside source or even one that involves her.
That’s me as a husband. But, what does that mean for me, the dad?
I’ve recently been viewing the day differently than I had once upon a time in light of having two beautiful little girls. I’m trying to walk a fine line here. While I still don’t want to make the holiday bigger than it needs to be, I do want to ensure that as they grow up and Valentine’s Day comes, they know, no matter what (single, married, broken hearted, happy) that somebody loves them.
The reality is that even if I don’t want to go all-out on Valentine’s Day, other people will. There’ll come a day when Daughter #1 or Daughter #2 is single (hopefully for a long time - I’m not ready for the dating stage) and sitting at the lunch table at school or work, seeing all the love going around on February 14th – cards, flowers, candy, holding hands, etc. And though they may still feel sad, they will know without a doubt that Daddy loves them. That’s why when this time of year rolls around, I’ll be getting them each something special.