Is it intended to give students and teachers a little break in the midst of hum-drum days? A room full of sweet treats and greetings from friends is a sure way to accomplish that.
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Or is this holiday designed to provide an opportunity for those young and in love to express heartfelt sentiments? There's certainly a lot of that going on, but young couples probably would find a way to share their feelings in a tangible way regardless of the holiday.
I think the occasion truly is designed for those who have been at this love thing for a while and need a jump-start.
To see if my assumption was correct, I did some Valentine's Day surfing on the Internet. As it turns out, the 35 to 44 age group spends the most money on Valentine's Day cards, candy, flowers and other gifts.
It could be argued that they have high earning potential, so they have the most to spend, but I think there's more to it than that.
All relationships, especially those that have been in existence for a decade or more, need a little fire kindling from time to time. The dark, cold days of winter provide a perfect backdrop for a change of pace. When relationships are dragging, that's when a little effort goes a long way.
Think about it. Have you ever been tempted to look at your mate and say, "So, tell me again why I married you?"
I'm sure that over the course of our 22 years of marriage, there have been times when my husband has needed some reminders. After all, he's married to me.
He has refrained from asking, thank goodness.
When I sense things becoming a tad stark in our relationship, I look for ways to help him remember why we got together in the first place.
The consideration that typically accompanies sentiments shared on Valentine's Day is a good place to start.
Saying "thank you" when a spouse starts dinner or takes out the trash or folds laundry can be a real pick-me-up at the end of a long day.
Thinking the best of a person and not having unrealistic expectations helps tremendously, as well.
Providing a warm welcome from the cold can foster a sense of priceless coziness.
Come to think of it, those things don't cost anything at all. They might just provide the best Valentine's Day ever.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at email@example.com.