Valentine’s Day: the quintessential day of love devoted to showering those you adore most with gifts, chocolates and teddy bears. You either love it or hate it. However, you cannot deny that it is a day widely celebrated and appreciated by those who are single and taken alike. It is a special time to express your gratitude for relationships with others.
I love every minute of it. Valentine’s Day has been special to me since elementary school when I decorated Valentine mailboxes and shared little notes with my classmates. I love gift giving, especially when it can be personalized. Customization makes a gift special to the specific receiver. So in high school, I decided to make custom mixtapes for my friends.
It was 2015, so this was a CD and not a true tape, but each contained a customized playlist for each Valentine of mine. These playlists included music genres the listener would normally gravitate toward, as well as a few songs or artists they had never heard. My freshman year, I made about 20 CDs for my closest friends and a few acquaintances who had heard what I was doing. By my senior year, I had a list of over 100 people asking me to make a curated mixtape just for them.
That final year I created playlists, I also made them Star Wars themed. Each CD had a silly Valentine-esque Star Wars pun and stickers as well. I went all out for my final year and reached more people than I ever had. Each person who received a mix appreciated the time I had put into their personal CD. It was a lot of additional time which far exceeded the holiday.
Obviously, this got pretty overwhelming. I most definitely did not complete all 100+ mixtapes; however, this made me realize how special Valentine’s Day can be. If you create something personal for others — even a simple handwritten note addressed to them specifically — it will automatically make them feel appreciated and valued.
Valentine’s Day does not have to be only for couples. It is a day to celebrate all kinds of love. I manifested that through mixtapes, but you can find ways to personalize gifts for any of your pals or special friends. Maybe you could make a mixtape with love songs for your crush or a jam session for the next road trip with your pals. Whatever you do, remember this day is about appreciating those you love and who love you in return.
These days, I unfortunately do not have the time to sit around and make individual mixtapes for all my closest pals. Occasionally I will make a CD for someone special who appreciates music taste. I make an annual Valentine playlist, filled with my favorite love songs, on Spotify. Which is most definitely better than Apple Music when it comes to creating curated playlists — but I will save that debate for another day. Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friends. Or should I say Happy Valen-tune’s?