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THE KRAMER CHRONICLES
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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO VALENTINE’S DAY NOT JUST A TASK TO CHECK OFF YOUR LIST:
O n Feb. 14 several years ago, I was standing in line at a grocery store with a bouquet of red roses in my hands. The line to pay was long, so I took part in one of the most practiced human pastimes: people watching. As I scanned the store around me, I felt like I was looking in the mirror. I was surrounded by dozens of men, all armed with fragrant flowers and exasperated expressions. From that moment on, I’ve opted for a different approach to Valentine’s Day. I asked myself, “What is this holiday really about?” The answer is simple: Showing those around you how much you appreciate them. When it comes to showing gratitude to the people I care about, running to the store for roses at the last minute simply won’t get the job done. I decided to take the time to plan for Valentine’s Day and celebrate for the entire week instead of just one day.
In my preparations for the holiday this year, I kept finding myself thinking about the way the expectations associated with Valentine’s Day change as we grow older. In elementary school, for example, I remember my teacher having us set aside time to make a valentine’s box, and then the entire class would bring in valentines for their peers. It wasn’t just a day for husbands to buy flowers for their wives. It was a day to commemorate friendships — I remember receiving a ton of superhero-themed valentines from my best guy friends. Even if you did have a crush on someone in your class, you could spare yourself the embarrassment of having to actually tell him or her how you felt. You could just buy those Sweethearts candies and give them to your crush to express your adoration. At the end of the day, celebrating Valentine’s Day isn’t about commercialized expectations and Hallmark greeting cards; it’s about sharing your appreciation for
This year, for example, the holiday falls on a Thursday. So I might bring home a nice dinner on Monday, pick up roses on Tuesday, and give my wife chocolate strawberries — her favorite — on Wednesday. Instead of waiting for a big culmination on Feb. 14, I do a gradual ramp up, and I’ve found that this approach is less stressful and gives me more time to adequately acknowledge and appreciate my wife. I’m no longer swinging by the store to buy expensive and kitschy gifts on the way home from work one day out of the year, and I no longer feel like I’m cheapening the experience by just checking a task off a list. I’m not celebrating the day just because I have to. I’m celebrating it because I want to.
those around you. Try to avoid treating it like a simple task you can check off the list. Instead, take time to ponder the ways you can authentically show your gratitude. It can be something as
simple as bringing in coffee to your coworkers or taking your kids out for a fun experience. You could even take a page out of my book and celebrate Valentine’s Day for an entire week.
From all of us here at Kramer Law Group, Happy Valentine’s Day!
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