It’s easy to feel sort of bummed out during February. Christmas is over and January resolutions are long violated, resented, and ultimately ignored. It always seems to be the awkward temperature that’s too cold for rain but too warm for snow, leaving many pairs of shoes ruined by that gross salty grey slush. And there is always – always – some sort of build-up, expectation, and disappointment surrounding the 14th.
Valentine’s Day is weirdly one of the most polarizing holidays ever. It’s stressful for people in relationships who try to create the perfect romantic environment for their significant other. It’s sad for people who have lost their significant other or haven’t found the right one yet. A holiday that is supposed to be all about love suddenly becomes more about jealousy, anger, or self-doubt.
I love this holiday. I always have. I never have gotten over the joy I felt when every person in my second grade class exchanged little notes of appreciation. I still look forward to the Snoopy card my mom puts in the mail for me or the inevitable sugar rush from tons of up-for-grabs chocolate at work. A simple gesture goes such a long way. Loving words that don’t occur to us to say the other 364 days of the year seem to pour out of us on this one.
I could so easily not be excited about Valentine’s Day this year. I’ve gotten clobbered over the past several months in a bunch of different ways. In fact, lots of people I know have felt pretty clobbered over the last few months. The warm and fuzzy feelings are hard to tap into when our headlines and interactions have been so unkind lately. But for every moment of feeling broken or defeated, there have been people and experiences that have absolutely carried me, and those are the things I’m going to focus on during this love-filled holiday.
This February 14th, I’m going to celebrate the family and friends who build me up when I’m feeling my absolute worst. I’m going to celebrate the hobbies and passions that make me excited to get up each day. I’m going to celebrate the people who are my voice when I feel voiceless, or my fighters when I feel powerless. I’m going to celebrate the books that have stuck with me, and the meals that I’ve savored for days after the fact.
I’m going to celebrate not only the love that has been given to me but also the love I’m capable of giving. (And I’m going to start sharing the love by writing out the recipe for my lemony heart-shaped sugar cookies. Dig in!)
Lemon Sugar Cookies
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp lemon zest
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1. Combine flour, salt, lemon zest, and baking powder in medium sized bowl.
2. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Whisk in vanilla, milk, and egg.
3. Slowly add flour mixture and beat until all ingredients are incorporated.
4. Form a disk and let chill for at least half an hour.
5. Roll out dough and, using your favorite cookie cutter, punch out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until edges start to brown. Let cool before icing.
Spread the love!