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Column: There are a lot of ways to tell your Valentine you love them
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

Did you ever make a Valentine box? I always thought they were so simple. 

You received a heart-shaped Valentine with something simple like, “Hey Valentine, Be Mine.” In return, you might receive a heart-shaped lollipop or one of those little candies with some simple message.

It was a much simpler time.

Today, Valentine’s Day has become a complicated thing. Depending on the relationship, you might be expected to buy a bouquet of flowers. Some schools had a Valentine’s dance. I don’t know if they do that anymore.

I remember one year, a girl gave me a small box of candy in a heart-shaped box. I thought it was special.

Today, grown-ups plunk down a fair amount of money for roses, a really nice card and dinner at a pretty nice restaurant. If they include jewelry, it can be a pretty expensive evening.

I used to buy Valentine flowers on the day after Valentine’s when they had been marked down to half price.

I think Valentine’s Day has become a commercial event. Some folks expect a haul of gifts for the holiday. You can do something nice for Valentine’s without breaking the bank. I remember going out with a girl and neither one of us had any money.

We ended up at McDonald’s, where she adorned the table with a tablecloth and a little candle. The candle was probably a violation of the fire code, but it was sweet and simple.

I saw one of those arts and crafts TV shows where the host demonstrated all sorts of ideas for the holiday. I never did well with scissors and artsy stuff. That girl went her separate way, which was probably best.

I have an affinity for Valentines made in kindergarten or Sunday school by my daughter. There is something magical about a homemade Valentine. You realize that those little hands worked hard to finish this work of art.

I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with a store-bought Valentine, but I’ll always have a warm place in my heart for those handmade jewels.

If you’re in love, find a way to express it. If you’re not, there’s always next year.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns publish weekly.