I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Never have been. Not as a kid, not as a teen, not as an adult. Not even as a married person.
Nope. Not a fan.
It’s one of the areas in my life I’ve decided I’m just going to be cranky and annoyed about.
Sorry to burst your shiny red heart-shaped mylar balloon.
Those valentine mailboxes we decorated in elementary school with such high expectations? Always a letdown. While it seemed every other girl ended up with at least one or two surprises from a secret admirer or best friend, I only got the obligatory stack of valentines.
In fact, there were a couple of years the creepazoid boys that made my school life at recess miserable, took the Valentine’s day opportunity to make certain that I felt despised and pathetic. Boys that age have a talent for rude, mean, despicable behavior. (It might warm your heart to know that by high school I was on friendly terms with most of them. They became slightly human by then somehow.)
There was one year, fifth grade I think, that we had a contest for the best valentine mailbox. My dad helped me with this project and it turned out awesome! He found a tall three or four-foot box about the circumference of a shoebox. We turned it into a clown with a wide-open mouth for the mailbox opening. The crowning glory was a squishy red bulbous squeeze horn. Honk, honk! We took first place of course. The grand prize was a supersized Hershey’s chocolate bar. Sixteen ounces of pure heaven I kept hidden in a drawer in my bedroom and nibbled on for weeks.
That memory right there is the highlight of decades of Valentine’s Day celebrations.
As a married couple we attempted a few Valentine’s dates. We quickly discovered that night of all nights is the worst possible one for a date. Restaurants are overrun and rushed. Movies are packed and noisy. Traffic is silly. Dances are ridiculous. Flowers cost twice as much as normal. Leftover Christmas chocolates are stingily arranged in overpriced heart-shaped boxes. We don’t do Valentine’s. We choose to abstain from all celebrating of this silly holiday. Okay, we might exchange cards. But that’s it.
Sorry, I am the Valentine Grinch. Where is Dr. Seuss when you really need him?
The perfect Valentine’s Day for me is in my own hands. It’s a product of my own making. I bake up a huge batch of buttery heart-shaped sugar cookies. Then I slather them with pink butter cream frosting, showering each one with multicolored sprinkles. Easy. None of that magazine cover overachieving piped lacy design nonsense.
Pop a few of these cookies into your mouth and life just doesn’t get any better than that. The kids love them, MSH loves them. My friends, if I choose to share, love them.
At this very moment there’s plenty of ice-cold milk in the fridge. Butter and yogurt is out on the counter waiting for me to start mixing up the magic cookie dough.
My Grincy valentine heart will soften as I mix and roll and cut and bake. All those old resentments will fade as the butter and powdered sugar and red dye whip together into a frothy cloud of pink deliciousness.
Love is in the air, and it smells like sugar cookies.
Happy Valentine’s Day if you’re a believer. Otherwise, enjoy something freshly baked and revel in every bite.
Here’s some more upbeat, happy articles about Valentine’s Day baking that you might enjoy.
- Valentine’s Day Baking (theprepcrew.wordpress.com)
- Kittencal’s Buttery Cut-Out Sugar Cookies W/ Icing That Hardens (thepinkgourmet.wordpress.com)
- 23 Heart Shaped Foods for Valentine’s Day (homemakerchic.wordpress.com)