Red Red Red. Everywhere I look there is red. Red is NOT my favorite color, unless it is paired with green at Christmas in which case then it is acceptable. Red heart shaped boxes, red ribbon, red foil. It's Valentine's Day and it is all about the packaging. We have been busy making delicious chocolates to fill all these beautiful boxes to doll up the store just for you.
I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine's Day. It's probably left over from my high school days when I was "sans" boyfriend during this day of love. I have a friend who refers to Valentine's Day as "Singles Awareness Day". On this particular day at our high school the student government would sell carnations to raise money. There were plenty of kids walking around with a flower pinned to their shirt or in their hair or just carrying one. Except me. (Sad isn't it?) But don't feel sad. A memory that is most clear in my head is my brother buying me a flower. (Sigh, what a great big brother looking out for his little sister.) I am sure that was his intention but the delivery was a little harsh. He handed me the flower and said, "Here this is for you. I don't want you to look stupid without a flower." So was I then looking stupid with a flower? That's my bro' in a nutshell. He has a huge heart but needs to brush up on his communication skills.
Back to Valentine's Day. In the chocolate business you have barely recovered from the Christmas Season and there its is V Day. One must dig deep for this day and be cheerful in filling pretty heart boxes. It's all about spreading the love. The Hallmark holiday created to sell cards, flowers, chocolates, and jewelry.
It is our customers that make me smile through Valentine's Day. The sweet elderly men that always shop early to give their sweetheart of 50 years that special gift. The Dad's that bring their little ones to pick out that special chocolate just for Mom. The fresh faced teenager stuck in that awkward place between boy and man trying to figure out what to get his first girl friend. There are the Mom's that buy for college kids so they know that she is always thinking of them. The Grams that buy for the grandchildren big and little.
The customers that provide the most entertainment are the guys. Screaming in the door on the 14th at the last minute. They either forgot, or left it to the last minute and don't dare go home without something. There are those that look a little sheepish and try to play it cool. My favorite is always that not shy guy that bellows "Have to get the ol' ball and chain something for Valentine's Day or I will never hear the end of it." I usually lead these gents to what I like to call our " Get Out Of The Dog House " heart. I try to buy them some insurance because I am pretty sure they are going to need it. Spreading the love for sure. We do our very best to help these gentleman find their way around the shop to purchase the perfect gift for the love of their life or the ol' ball and chain.
Being located in Vermont we also have to keep an eye on the weather. A bad winter storm can make or break a Valentine's Day for a chocolate shop. It snowed three feet one year on Valentine's Day. We just wanted to cry. Even in Vermont the world stopped for that storm. And so we had a Valentine Broken Heart Sale. Ours because we didn't sell them and yours because you didn't get one.
As I head off to my therapy appointment to face the Valentine unresolved issues of my childhood I will leave you with this little thought...
We need a lot more love in this world. Regardless of your beliefs, we all as humans need love. If you decide to share the love with chocolate that is great for us and those who receive. Kindness cost nothing. A smile and a hug can go a long way for someone who just needs to know that someone cares. Take your Valentine's Day a little further this year than just your family. Reach out to a friend, reach out to someone who needs a little love. Love is really best when it is shared.