I know what you are thinking. Valentine’s Day is just a direct result of our over-commercialized, capitalist and patriarchal society. This may be true, but there is also something about this tacky holiday that I have never been able to get enough of.

It could be the brinner – which means breakfast for dinner, for those who are foodie-illiterate – that my mom makes every year. It could be that chocolate is my all-time favorite food. It could even be that my two favorite colors are pink and red. But, personally, I think that it is the idea that I have this specific day to celebrate all of those people in my life that I am enamored with that has drawn me to this holiday. Either way, every single year when the fourteenth of February rolls around, I cannot wait to pick out my outfit and get everyone’s valentines ready.

Throughout my life, every year on Valentine’s day I could expect my mom to go all out and go that extra mile to show her love for my siblings and me. She is a single mom of three children, and yet every year for as long as I could remember, she has found a way to make me feel special. It has never mattered to me whether I had a significant other on the fourteenth of February, but every year I make sure that I am home for dinner to have brinner with my mom.

So, this is my grand revelation to those who say “bah hum bug” to the holiday I hold so dear: the value of love does not depend upon the relationship it is shared between.

Valentine’s Day means so much to me because I value the love I have for my mom, and my friends, and my pets, and myself and the love they have for me. I value all of those relationships the same amount that I value the romantic relationships that I have experienced in my life. Valentine’s Day to me is about celebrating those who bring me joy.

The concept of staying at home, lonely and bitter about not having a “special someone” is so normalized, but the truth is that Valentine’s Day is what you make it. You could make it about the money, or the heteronormative culture, or the pressure to have a significant other. You could also make it about enjoying yourself and the people you surround yourself with.