Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I cannot help but roll my eyes at this Hallmark Holiday. It seems that this holiday is designed to make you feel like you must have a special someone in your life in order to celebrate ... which is not true by any means. There are several ways to celebrate without relying on Cupid. It is perfectly okay to NOT have a date, regardless of what society says. Show me the rule book where it says you have to go out with your significant other … oh, that’s right, there is no rule book! Instead of sitting on your couch watching Netflix and waiting for all the chocolate to go on sale, take back your Valentine’s Day! 

Yes, it is true that love is in the air, but no one ever said what type of love. I dread Valentine’s Day every year, but then I remember that I have the best date I could ever ask for. My nephew, Jackson, has been my date for the past several years. He is ten years old and the sweetest date around. It has become a family tradition that we celebrate Valentine’s Day together. It all started several years ago when I was tired of feeling like I had to have a specific type of date to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

So I changed the rules. I asked my nephew if he would like to go out to eat at a restaurant of his choice and of course, he said yes. The tradition took off, and every year we always have a blast. We dress up in our finest date-clothes, and I pick him up promptly at 7. I have no clue what I am going to do when he grows up and finds his own date. I think it is a great idea to celebrate with younger generations. We need to help them realize that their celebration does not have to mimic the fairy tale version which marketing conglomerates will try to sell them. It is important to show that there is an abundance of ways to show love. I always look forward to spending time with Jackson because I love to see how much he has grown as a young man from year to year. He has the biggest heart of any young man I know.

I may be anti-Valentine the majority of the year, but when Valentine’s Day comes around, I always know I am going to have a great time. This year will be extra special because I will also be taking my other nephew, six-year-old Parker, with us. Hopefully, the fire department will not be involved! 

Not only do my nephews take part in an alternative Valentine’s Day, but my young nieces, Shianne and Skylar, celebrate differently as well. They go to a Valentine’s dance with their uncle and their grandfather as their dates - dancing the night away. It warms my heart to see them so happy. I hope that when they grow up, they realize that there is more than one way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and that they do not have to wait around for some guy to ask them out. I hope that they take charge and make the most of their
Valentine’s Days. 

Isn't it awesome that there is more than one way to celebrate love? There are plenty of other ways to enjoy yourself if you do not have a traditional date. Go out and do something fun and exciting. What is better than having a night full of laughter? Take a group of your closest friends and go out to eat and to see a movie. Go on a haunted ghost tour to really shake Valentine’s Day up. Take a group of friends and play laser tag. Taking your kids out to eat. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to spoil yourself. A day at a relaxing spa sounds absolutely perfect. If you want to give back then deliver valentines to senior citizens. KVNE makes this an annual date and it is a great way to share the love. The main point is to do something YOU want to do, not something that society tells you. Stop letting Valentine’s Day make you feel like you are less of a person if you do not have a date. Surround yourself with the ones you love and take your Valentine’s Day back!


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