Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

February 13, 2012

Don’t fall back on greeting cards

VALDOSTA — From the end of January through the first weeks of February, it becomes impossible to ignore the onslaught of marketing directed at couples, telling them what they need to make Valentine’s Day happy. Cards, flowers, special teddy bears — the message seems to be that love for another person equals buying lots of stuff.

While it is admirable to show appreciation for someone else through a nice gift, in some ways that is the cheap way out. In the hurry-up modern world where husbands and wives both work and sometimes become virtual strangers at home, a Hallmark card pulled off a rack as an afterthought might not be the best way to show love.

So what is the best way to express your true feelings on Valentine’s Day? One good way might be through the gift of time.

Think about the recent Father-Daughter Valentine Dance. Thousands of fathers dressed up and took their equally decked-out daughters to the Conference Center for a festive evening of fun. It wasn’t so much the music or the fancy dresses that made these evenings special. Individual dads showed their little girls how special they are by setting aside time to spend with them.

It’s a sad commentary on our society that technology and material goods tend to devalue the individual.

Communicating through emails or cell phones makes it easier to get in touch with another person, but what kind of connection is being made? Nothing says you love someone better than sitting down with them face to face and talking. Unfortunately, that simple act is harder than ever because of job demands and because of the nature of our technology.

Valentine’s Day, while not a true holiday, remains special because of how it is traditionally linked to romantic love. Wouldn’t it be more loving today to greet and spend time with a loved one instead of falling back on a greeting card to do the work?

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