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This post originally appeared on Life + Style of Kerrie M. Burke.

Valentine’s Day? I don’t know about you but I’ve never been a huge fan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I disliked it, not by any means, but I did think of it and those who went “all out” for it as a little silly. In recent years however, it seems my feelings toward the supposedly Hallmark-manufactured holiday have begun to change.

Why the sudden shift in perspective? Personally, I think it has a little to do with my “growing up” (which usually involves learning that not everything is lame, bandwagon’s aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and your favorite blue mascara was far from flattering) and, as crazy as it may sound, a lot to do with our moving to Boston.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m about as far from a snow bunny as you can possibly get. Snow sloth? Snow mammoth? Either of those would be more appropriate – truly! I realize we hardly have weather worth bragging about but I thought winters back home in Ireland were brutal so you can imagine how shocked (horrified, distraught, despondent) I was to learn I hadn’t seen anything yet. What can I say? Bomb Cyclones and Polar Vortexes just aren’t my jam. So, what’s a gal who lives in constant fear of below-freezing-temps to do? Well, I learned the hard way that becoming a complete hermit wasn’t the answer. Give in to that urge and it’s quite possible you’ll spend 90 consecutive days watching re-runs of Revenge on your wine-soaked couch – yep, that pretty accurately describes my very first winter here in Boston.

Thankfully, I’ve found that having things to look forward to, things to celebrate, things to puncture the monotony of cold grey day after cold grey day really helps – and that’s regardless of whether they’re considered big, little, silly, trivial or just the opposite. For this reason (and more) I choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day just as I choose to celebrate whatever else I want to. Even better yet? I choose to celebrate my way.

Confirmed haters will argue that Valentine’s Day is just another example of corporate greed, that the holiday excludes singles, that every day’s a celebration, that loving gestures shouldn’t be saved for February 14th and to them I say; I hear you but . . .

– I’m still buying the heart shaped cookie!

– Any excuse to hit my favorite restaurant with my favorite guy is a good one! Random Wednesday? You just got a whole lot more special!

– On that note, you can buy me flowers whenever you feel like it, Ted – jewelry too!

– Celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to involve any of those things unless you actually want it to. Prefer to treat a stranger to coffee, spend the day with your mom or just want a cozy night in? Perfect, perfect and perfect!

– Great idea – in theory. Sadly, some days just suck!

– Finally, corporate greed? There is such a thing as DIY-ing it – and you should probably consider giving Mr. Robot a break!

So this February 14th, how about we hop off the “let’s-all-hate-on-Valentine’s-Day” bandwagon and raise a glass to the people who see it as a great reminder and a great opportunity to smile a little bigger and spread the love a little further.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day . . .

Starts with Ted making coffee while I lay in bed and snuggle the baby who’s technically a dog and technically not allowed on the furniture.

Card says anything cute ‘n’ quirky.

Gift is thoughtful and loved regardless of it’s size or value. Ted and I often gift one another experiences (think concert tickets and weekends away) as opposed to things but when we do opt for the latter we take Don Draper’s advice; make it simple but significant! Personality, I’m a sucker for a love forever piece of jewelry I can wear day or night. A simple gold bracelet? A Longines watch? Delicate diamond studs? Classics will never fail you – which is probably why I love E.B. Horn, Boston’s oldest jewelers, so much.

Day involves sipping cocktails in Bali. Failing that, any day spent checking out new-to-me coffee shops is a day well spent! A recent find that surpassed all expectations? Loyal Nine in Cambridge. More of a “pick up and go” kinda gal? You’ll love the small-but-mighty Gracenote.

Blooms are um, anything that isn’t three times it’s normal price?

Restaurant is a little different to your usual. Typically gravitate toward Italian? Shake things up with gems like Saltie Girl (you won’t believe their tinned seafood selection) or one of Boston’s most insta-worthy spots; Citrus & Salt, their guac might just be the best – ever!

EB Horn Valentine's Day

EB Horn Valentine's Day

EB Horn Valentine's Day

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