Valentine’s Day has been celebrated every year since about the 14th century.

Pakistan and Indonesia forbid the idea of Valentine’s Day, but in America, many of us think about it and how we will make the holiday our own. Part of me isn’t a fan of Valentine’s Day, simply because it bothers me that we have one more guilt-ridden holiday. Also, shouldn’t every day be a day of loving? Now, that may not describe your relationship with the holiday, but let’s face it, the last 11 months have been super tough and often emphasizing how alone we may be, so it’s important to note that some holidays are harder on some than others.

It’s okay! We’re each doing what we can.

I like the idea of showing love to each other every day of the year.

This may be the year we want to show extra special love toward ourselves, friends, or family members. Who doesn’t enjoy some extra special attention? We all need to be loved and shown we are loved. So if it moves you to do so, celebrate this Valentine’s Day in grand style or simple gestures.

Valentine’s Day can be an emotionally charged holiday.

If you are or you aren’t in a relationship with someone else, it’s important to use this time for building a loving relationship with yourself. See the roses and cards. Embrace their message for yourself! Don’t listen to the commercial message, listen for the spiritual message.

The message of love is for everyone.

Looking for inspiration, I googled romantic Valentine’s Day food and found numerous recipes and dinner arrangements that include extra fancy ingredients and preparations. When my kids were home, I would roast Cornish game hens and set the table in red and white decorations.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t require extra fancy anything.

It isn’t a command performance. Our show of love doesn’t have to be a Hallmark card, a dozen ruby red roses, or a night out on the town.

In the kitchen, an expression of romance and love on Valentine’s Day or any day can be as fancy or simple as we wish. How about starting the day with scrambled eggs, toast, and a favorite cup of hot beverage. Lunch might be a strawberry-anything!

I would choose a smooth strawberry shake topped with coconut shavings.

For dinner, may I suggest the simplicity of creamy macaroni and cheese

perhaps served with a dessert of double fudge chocolate cake with buttercream chocolate frosting? Adding sprinkles adds extra delight!

When the day has ended, position a glass of maple lemon water by the bedside. The beauty of all of these ideas? Each idea takes the amount of time you have to invest. Every one of them can be made fancier based on your inspiration. And every one of them can be made for you!

A kind gesture is a beautiful way of expressing your care either for someone else or, importantly, yourself. Romance and love aren’t about the things or the calendar date. As trite as it may sound, it’s about the feeling behind the gesture.

Be as original as your love.