I dislike Valentine’s Day. I always have. The older I get, the more I’ve come to dislike it. Why do I need a holiday to remind me to tell my loved ones that I love them? Christmas is barely finished, and the Valentine’s Day decorations and candies are already stocked at every retailer. The jewelry advertisements crack me up too. Let’s not forget that every restaurant is booked solid, especially when the date falls on a Friday.
I now appreciate tokens of love all through the year instead of just on Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of other dates on the calendar that I would rather celebrate. If you’ve been with your spouse or partner as long I have been with mine (coming up on nineteen years!), you know just what I mean. Here is a list of dates that I cherish much more than Valentine’s Day.
Our Couple Anniversary
I don’t know when we decided that March 10 would be the date that we officially started dating, but the date will always trump our wedding anniversary date. We were college kids working at the Starbucks on 4th and Market when we met. Now, we are a family of four with bustling careers. It’s quite amazing how much we have grown together.
Our Daughters’ Birthdays
Whether we travel or have a party, I want to celebrate their special days.
I’ve written about my love for the holidays in previous posts. There’s something so delightful about Fall and Winter. I love the sweater weather and the gift-giving. I start preparing for Christmas in September with my gift list and budget. Ilse and I start talking about how we will decorate the tree. Since Alice turns one next Christmas, this holiday will be extra special.
Our Respective Family’s Birthdays
Birthdays matter, as my husband and I are both from small families. We acknowledge all with morning birthday greetings or share a meal with them when we can.
Chinese New Year
In our bicultural family, we welcome the new year twice: once at the end of the calendar year on December 31 and one at the end of the Lunar calendar year for Chinese New Year. We celebrate December 31 to honor my Filipino roots, and the Chinese New Year to honor my husband’s Chinese roots.
I cherish Thanksgiving, as it is one of the few holidays that I host a party for family. I plan the menu, the guest list, and the grocery list. Family and friends have come and gone over the decade, but the menu stays consistent. It’s the one holiday where gifts are not exchanged and where we focus on grace and gratitude.
Mothers Day (For Our Mothers)
Despite being a mother myself now, I celebrate Mother’s Day for our respective mothers and all the motherly figures in our lives.
Easter marks the beginning of spring and the renewal of faith for practicing Catholics like myself.
My San Francisco Anniversary
When I was in middle school or high school, I told my great aunt Tita Remy that I was going to move to San Francisco. This year marks my 20th anniversary of moving to the city. I’ve spent my adult life in San Francisco, and every year I am here is a gift.
Being alive is a gift. I’ll take my birthday over Valentine’s Day any day. I say a prayer of gratitude and contemplate the past year and the future ahead.
With 365 days in an average year, there are plenty of dates to celebrate and love. These are just a few of mine. What dates matter to you?