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  • JD Harper

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates: A Valentine's Day Reflection


Raise your hand. Who loves to receive a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Ok, now of those who raised their hands, would you prefer, say a Whitman’s sampler box or a box of all the same kinds of chocolates? Trust me. There is a reason that I ask this question. If you will remember in last week’s blog, I mentioned that I am not one to get all gushy with romance on the heart holiday, a day set aside to celebrate romantic love with its hearts, flowers, chocolate candies and naughty underwear, but for those that do, more power to you! Rather, I hope that I am living each day as though it were Valentine’s Day and it has something to do with Sally Fields’ comment as Mrs. Gump to her son as portrayed by Tom Hanks, of “Life is like a box of chocolates, Forest. You never know what you’re gonna get.” I really can’t think of a better way to represent how life can change so drastically for good or bad or somewhere in between. For me snatching the cherry cream chocolate candy from that sampler box is oh so lovely, the coconut chocolate candy is not and the caramel chocolate is just ok. Recognizing how fast life can change; it is my goal to live each day with purposeful intent and to have fun! So when it comes to the holiday of love, or any holiday for that matter, I work hard not to fall into reactionary impulse purchasing brought on by marketing hype.

Did you know that it was Richard Cadbury, son of John Cadbury, who created the heart shaped box of chocolates in 1861 as a way to increase sales and debuted it on Valentine’s Day? Or that in 2018, $18 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day gift purchasing and this year it is estimated that $20 billion will be spent? Perhaps I am a little cynical because I desire that people stop and think about the gifts they are purchasing, especially for that “special” someone in their life. Whenever I see a person buying a heart-shaped box of candy, I first think, “Boy, what a great marketing ploy” then I wonder if the person buying that box of chocolate really knows anything about the person for whom it is being purchased or are they just reacting to the holiday? I’d be willing to bet the guy in your life would prefer a good old steak, baked potato and salad dinner then that quickly, perhaps mindlessly, purchased heart shaped box of chocolates? If you’re one that just can’t get away from the marketing hyped frenzy of the holiday and you feel the pressure to do something for the “big” day, I challenge you to think of a way to do it differently – here are a few suggestions, some don’t cost any money at all:

  • send a sweet text to or leave a handwritten note for that special someone 

  • go for a walk with “your person”

  • have an item handmade for your love (more than likely you will be supporting a local artist/business) or make homemade

  • bake homemade goodies: cookies are always good

  • make plans for the weekend with your sweetie 

  • go shopping with your Valentine the day after to pick up your favorite holiday candy  because it will all be on sale

  • For the single ladies out there, schedule a ‘Gal’entine’s Day with your best girlfriend(s).

No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday of love just make sure to have fun because that’s what it’s really all about: having fun and having fun despite the yucky chocolate you may pull from that sampler box of chocolates.

Whatever you’re dreaming of this Valentine’s, I hope it comes your way. If you don’t mind, take a moment to share your favorite Valentine's Day candy, treat or tradition with me.


Happy Valentine’s Day!


#Valentinesday #heart #sallyfields #tomhanks #forestgump #whitmanscandies #whitmanssampler #hersheychocolate #russellstovercandies #cadbury #lifeislikeaboxofchocolates


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