So today I was thinking about Valentine’s Day.

It sucks, right?  I mean, when was the last time somebody said “You know what I love?  Valentine’s Day!”  Nobody says that, because it totally sucks.  It’s expensive and weird – “Hey loved one, today I extra love you, let’s go blow our monthly entertainment budget on a schmancy dinner and some flowers.”  Yippee.  The only time Valentine’s Day is even remotely cool is when you are between ages 5 and 9 and get to trade cartoony Valentines with your classmates.  Andplusalso eat candy.  As far as I can tell, we don’t even know if St. Valentine ever really even did anything cool, which is just weird.  All of which to say, Valentine’s Day is, as far as I can tell, a total waste of a holiday.

photo by the incomparable Shannon Hannon

But what if it didn’t have to be?

I have this crazy idea: let’s reinvent Valentine’s Day.  I mean, why not?  Why do we have to celebrate the world’s lamest holiday for the rest of our lives in the middle of the most boring and gray time of year when instead it could be AWESOME!  Are you feeling the excitement?  Are you getting jazzed?  Good.  Here we go.

I propose a holiday in three acts.  Valentine’s Day, February 14th, a celebration of love in all forms – screw you, exclusive romantic love (okay, not really – I dig you, romantic love, but you can hang, right?).  Let’s do it like this:

Act One: An Act of Great Love – Let’s aim to do an act of service and love on Valentines Day.  Maybe we go hang out with and feed the homeless, or do some housework for someone, or team up and make something beautiful.  Let’s conspire on this and see what we can come up with.

Act Two: An Act of Great Laughter: Let’s do something silly!  My vote is for Valentine’s Caroling.  Wait, stay with me – picture this: we wear pink and red.  We wander around downtown or somewhere stuffy like SE Hawthorne or the Pearl District and sing 80s love songs at the tops of our lungs.  “I CAN”T FIGHT THIS FEELING ANYMORE!!!!” “I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!  WHERE YOU FROM?  YOU SEXY THING!”  Oh guys, it could be epic.

Act Three: An Act of Great Celebration: Let’s have a party.  A giant love feast (no, no, how old are you, 12?  I mean a potluck.  Sheesh.)  Let’s create a space where the paired up and the single eat together and celebrate love – we can speak love letters to each other and make heart shaped cookies and rejoice in community and celebrate the heck out of Valentine’s Day with one big love feast.  Right?  Right?  Guys, are you feeling this?  Oh man, I’m all about it.

Let’s do this thing.  Let’s OWN Valentine’s Day.  Take the day off of work!  Do an act of great love, an act of great laughter, and and act of great celebration.  Let’s warm up midwinter, let’s unbundle a bit and warm up our fingers over friendly fires and let our love lights burn baby burn.

Are you with me?  Who’s with me?  Vive la revolution!!


As I’m actually serious about this stuff, we need action.  Who wants to lead caroling?  Who has a big house and can host a love banquet?  Who has a non-profit and could use some extra volunteers for a fun V-Day event? Comment or email me and let’s do this thing.

  • Jani Peters January 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Love your ideas, Karyn, and wish I lived close enough to go caroling with you! But I gotta say I’ve ALWAYS loved Valentine’s Day. Your grandparents didn’t do birthdays for their kids, but they did Valentine’s Day instead. We always had a special dinner, table decorated, cake, and gifts for each of us. And I loved getting cards/gifts from my boyfriends, too. Schmaltzy, but wonderful!

    • karyn January 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      See, though, that’s doing it right! They had the love banquet all figured out already. 🙂 Yay for schmaltz!