By Lesli Nolen
Published February 2012
One of my favorite memories of Elementary school was our Valentine’s Day Party. It was one of the most fun and exciting times for me. Something about this special day made me smile, inside and out. It wasn’t because of the things I got like chocolate or the sweet card I received every year from my dad, it was more about the emotion I felt on that day. Everyone was loved, even at school.
At school we would begin preparing for our party by making our own Valentine’s box. This box would hold all of our Valentine’s Day cards that we would exchange in class. Our box started out as an old shoe box. We would cover the box and lid in red or pink paper. We would cut a slit in the top so we would have an opening to slide the cards into. Then we were allowed to decorate it.
I would always cover my box in red paper. I especially liked the white lace heart I put on the top of the box. It accented the box in a unique way and looked the way I felt. Using a red marker I wrote Happy Valentine’s Day in the middle of the heart. Once the top was finished I continued decorating the rest of the box; gluing smaller white hearts on, placing stickers of cupid in just the right place and other cut outs the teacher may have given us. I was always so proud of my box.
When the day of our party arrived our classroom was transformed into Valentine’s masterpiece. Long tables aligned on the back wall all covered with red table cloths. And an array of sweets filled the table end to end; everything homemade. There were brownies, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, boxes of Valentine heart candy, red candy, white candy, and whatever else you could think of. A round table was set up next to the long one, which was host to the homemade slush (which my mom usually made). It was my favorite. When you drank it, your mouth was filled with punch and tiny slivers of ice all at the same time. You never got just punch or just ice. It was the perfect mixture. We had cut out hearts all different sizes and colors and tied them to a string and hung them with a paper clip from the tiles in the ceiling. Each student’s desk was clean of any books or paper. The only thing we had out was our hand crafted Valentine’s Day box.
We took turns passing out our Valentine’s Day cards, carefully placing them in each person special box. The classroom was soon filled with laughter, oohs and ahhs as the the individual cards were received. We ate, we drank, we laughed and we were filled with love.
As I thought about this time in my life and how I felt, I wondered what made that day so special to me. I realized on that one day everyone was the same. No one was standing there waiting and wondering if they’d be the last ones picked for the dodgeball game at P.E. No one was being laughed at for the grade they received on the last assignment. No one was competing for first place or last. One this day everyone was equal.
I wish every day of my life could feel that good. I wish this for me, for my daughter, my husband and my friends. I wish everyone, every day, felt love like that.
Love, in the dictionary, is defined as a deep feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons; an expression of one’s love or affection. It’s a feeling of brotherhood and good will toward other people; a strong liking for or interest in something. Love is an action and an emotion.
Love is often perceived how others treat us. If I’m mean to you, you’re probably not going to like me, much less love me. If someone cuts you off while driving, you’re probably not going to smile and wave at them with sincere kindness and say that’s okay, they must be in a hurry. We base love off of direct interaction toward us.
Love is also used more common today. It is most often associated with euphoria or an infatuation. It’s that “high” we feel when something good is stirred inside us. We often associate love with what we feel at that moment in time. I loved the Valentine’s Day parties at school and how they made me feel. Now, I love chocolate and coffee not always together. I love reading books and writing my article. I love how those things make me feel. I love the idea of love. I love a good love story; a romantic comedy. Why? Because in the end the girl gets the guy or the guy gets the girl. We all want or wish our life could be like the fairytales. We all want to be loved and accepted. We all want to be looked at as equal. But in reality most things we love today are short term and quick fixes. But one love is not short term; God’s love. The love God has for us it’s not based on who we are; it’s based on who He is.
The Bible indicates that love is from God; the creator of all things, including us. Love is one of God’s primary characteristics. And since we are created in His image, he has given us the capacity to love ourselves and other just as He loves us. He does not love us only when he feels like it, or when it’s convenient for him. God’s love is the ending of every fairytale; it is happily ever after. I hope this Valentine’s Day you are filled with the kind of love that lasts forever and ever.