Many years ago, a girlfriend mentioned her husband had never bought her flowers on Valentine’s Day. My heart was in the right place, but my brain was on vacation. I picked up the phone and ordered her a small arrangement with a card that read “From you know who,” assuming she would recall our recent conversation. But she didn’t, and gushed all over her husband when he got home from work. He was not amused. Lesson learned: Do not buy your married girlfriends flowers on Valentine’s Day. Have you ever committed a similar blunder?

Do you remember Valentine’s Day as a child with a smile? In most elementary schools, including Amish one-room schoolhouses, children bring Valentine’s Day cards for everyone in the class. A fun day to open them. Supposedly, no one is left out. But I heard one boy, now a man, was repeatedly excluded. As an adult, Valentine’s Day can be a burden or time of disappointment and regret.

If you exchange cards, it pays to shop early. Or make one!

If you exchange cards, it pays to shop early. Or make one!

I was near a card display the other day, so I purchased one for my husband early. Hope I can find it on February 14, a day when many (mostly men) will be hovering over the picked-over cards. Best to buy your honey’s card early. If you have a honey. If you don’t, the day can be awash with sadness. “A Hallmark holiday,” my father called it, meaning an occasion trumped up to guilt people into spending money.

A lesson learned along the way: Valentine’s Day is one of the most expensive days of the year to buy roses. I’ve already told my husband they’re not necessary as he just bought me roses last week. A card is sufficient.

My favorite Valentine’s Day roses from my husband.

My favorite Valentine’s Day roses from my husband.

A tip: Having worked in the restaurant business, I can assure you Valentine’s Day is not a great day to eat out unless you make your reservations early and can tolerate long lines and a frazzled staff.

Do you adore Valentine’s Day? Do you dress in red or pink? Do you remember with fondness giving and receiving Valentine’s Day cards or does the day fill you with anxiety? Do you decorate your home and celebrate, or wish you could skip Valentine’s Day?

John and Lydia are Amish-made dolls from Lancaster. Are they courting?

John and Lydia are Amish-made dolls from Lancaster. Are they courting?

Leave a comment and enter to win Lydia and John, Amish-made dolls from Lancaster County, PA, plus a signed book from The Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy: either Leaving Lancaster, it’s sequel Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish! Winner has three days to respond. USA and Canada.

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