Valentine’s Day should be a national holiday. I proposed this in a thoughtful theme of 14 paragraphs many years ago. During the following year, I devoted a small portion of each day facing west and thinking about why this was a good idea. I faced the west because that’s where the window in my office was and I figured I might as well enjoy the scenery while doing so much deep thinking.
Even though many years have passed and Congress has not taken any action — no surprise there — I still think Valentine’s Day would be a splendid national holiday.
Love, we have always heard, though not so much lately, makes the world go round. How many of our 10 legal holidays can we say that about?
As much as we cherish our traditional holidays, most of them are so filled with established routines we can’t just relax and enjoy a day off without responsibilities.
Valentine’s Day would be a holiday when we are in complete control of all our faculties unlike New Year’s Day, say, and its preceding Eve. Eyes: clear. Hands: steady. Step: sure. We wouldn’t be jumping at firecrackers from dawn ‘til dark. Falling in the middle of winter, there’d be no picnic to plan. We wouldn’t have to spend a week cleaning and cooking. There wouldn’t be a gluttonous orgy of feasting with its invariable after-effects.
Valentine’s Day would be incomparably more relaxing than the Christmas season with its panic of shopping and aftermath of bills. We wouldn’t have to deck our halls with boughs of holly — although a nice red bow with a few hearts might be a nice touch but certainly not obligatory.
Should February 14th be declared a holiday, the entire nation could spend the whole day relaxing and loving everybody and thinking happy thoughts. (Are you paying attention, Congress? Would that be so hard to do?) Unlike our purely American holidays, Valentine’s Day could go global. We could spend the whole day loving everybody everywhere, in the purest sense of course.
It’s possible a day like that would be more beneficial than all the rest of the holidays put together — providing pre-holiday, holiday and day-after-holiday sales were prohibited. Nothing kills the spirit of any holiday more than being bombarded with ads for sales, let alone participating in them.
And when Feb. 14 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we’d have a nice long weekend with nothing required but lots of love.
Virgil wrote that “Love conquers all” — OK, so it didn’t work out so well for Romeo and Juliet — but, forgetting that, how can the government keep ignoring it? They could surprise us and agree on one thing — to declare Valentine’s Day the 11th legal holiday.
What could provide more happiness to the most people than another holiday? With chocolate.
Mary McClure is a former newspaper editor who lives in Lawton.