Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a sweet holiday - not just because of the chocolates and treats, but because it's a day to express love. However, I think it's been overtaken by consumerism and marketing. Advertisements suggesting that love is shown by a new piece of expensive jewelry or by Roses + Expensive Dinner + Chocolates + you-fill-in-the-blank can only raise expectations and lead to disappointments. 

Managing expectations is a hard task.

On the one hand, I know that my husband loves me dearly, is unfailingly loyal, works hard, is fun to be with and I need nothing. Valentine's Day sales are simply an effort to part us from more of our money.

On the other hand, marketers tell me that I deserve this, that, or the other thing and that bauble or experience will confirm his love for me. And what woman doesn't enjoy a little extra-special attention?

What I know to be true wars with the "diva me." I know who will win now. We'll have a very nice candlelight dinner here at home which I'll make, he'll likely bring me flowers, and we'll have a wonderful time. But it wasn't always so. When we were younger I expected a lot more. Putting so many expectations on one day leads unfailingly to disappointment. I've learned his style over the years and he's adjusted to mine. I'm so glad he's my Valentine.

One thing my mother always did on Valentine's Day was to bake heart-shaped cookies. I did that today. I'll give some to our children - because I love each one of them, too. For me, Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love. It's about friendship, parental love - all love, really. 

The recipe I used is one from my mother-in-law, who got it from her mother. My husband's grandfather was Swedish and these cookies, faintly almond-flavored, with a meringue topping, were his favourites. You can find the recipe for Morkakor, Grandpa's Cookies, here.

I wish all of my readers a very happy Valentine's Day - may you know that you are loved.


  1. Happy Valentine's Day, Lorrie!

    You are certainly loved!

    Warmest greetings,

    Love your plate with the hearts!

  2. Happy Valentine's Day !
    It sure is nice to feel loved nowadays. Weather is gloomy and so is the atmosphere at work... the traditional budget cuts and general bad news in schools at this time of the year.

  3. Sounds very similar to the day we'll enjoy here. Budget breaking gifts do not make my heart go pitty-pat in a good way. =D

    Now I must snag the Swedish cookies and bake them as a surprise one day. Probably not today, though.

    Have a lovely Valentine's Day!

  4. I so agree with you Lorrie.I dont like those advertisements that beg you to buy a new washing machine/mobile phone/huge bouquet for the 'one you love' etc etc.
    Just a handhold, a word of love...that's all I need.

  5. WE 'do' very simple for occasions such as today, just a card with lovely words - no fancy smancy, expensive gifts, in fact this year not even a little bunch of casual flowers - my favorite - as we leave town early tomorrow.

    I agree it's become nothing much more than another marketing ploy. Love happens every day, the secret is keeping it fresh and meaningful by the little daily things special between two people.........sometimes (often!) after almost 50 years you have to work hard at it, but isn't that what romance is all about?

    Love to you and yours today Lorrie.
    Mary X

    P.S. Love the sound of those almond cookies and they look beautiful on the pretty plate. Enjoy.

  6. Happy Valentine's Day to you. It's lovely that you're carrying on your mom's tradition of the heart-shaped cookies.

  7. happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! May God shower you all with his love...
    I'll have to come back later and check out that cookie recipe. Dear is half Swedish on his mother's side.

  8. So nicely put, Lorrie. It's a complex holiday,this Retailer's delight, co-opting such a valuable commodity. So hard to resist its shaping of love into something measured by bottles of perfume or boxes of chocolate or sparkles of jewelry. I've got my Diva firmly in place for today, but she's struggling to get out. Those cookies are a sweet way to honour the best spirit of the day. May yours be a happy one.

  9. Great post, Lorrie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Lorrie, thanks for your comment on my blog, I so enjoyed visiting yours. You and I have similar blogging styles I think! The cookies look so good. I'm intrigued with the meringue on top...I'll have to try it for a change from mine. I appreciated all you had to say about the day and what it means and how little we need! My husband bought me three yellow roses from Aldis and left them as they were in a cup of water for he was out all day and so was I. When I got home I considered tossing them, they looked so pathetic. But a little trimming and some new water and today they were glorious looking. What sturdy flowers they apparently are. I know I'll enjoy them for quite a few more days! New life to old flowers!!! I'm sure there's a lesson there!

  11. Great post...about Valentine's Day, love and expectations. Have a wonderful day with your special Valentine...however you choose to mark the occasion.

    I'm cooking over here as well! We prefer the peace and quiet of home to the hustle and bustle of a restaurant on this particular day.

  12. Dear Lorrie . . . expectations can be so devasting it's true . . . discovering each other's ways of giving and receiving love can take time but so worth it. Happy Valentines Day.

  13. Happy Valentine's Day to you Lorrie! My husband and I are going out for a burger and movie. He tells me he we should choose a tearjerker so he can put his arm around me when I start to tear up!

  14. Yes...this was so good and so true!!

    Those cookies sure look good.

    Happy Valentine's Day♥

  15. The cookies are so pretty and I know your hubby will love them! We like to do special things all through the year...and have fun every day! Happy Valentine's day to you and your sweet hubby! ♥♥♥

  16. Happy Valentine's Day! Love the cookies, too!

  17. I loved this post! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day! Kit


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