Monday, February 15, 2016

February Appreciation

February is pretty unpopular as months go.  It's the time of year when people start groaning about how they wish it were spring.  It's also home to Valentine's Day, the most ambivalent of holidays.  Does anyone see any use for Valentine's Day, other than as an excuse to eat pink-frosted cookies and chocolate?  My high school, which was generally a pretty nice place, had a sadistic Valentine's Day ritual in which boys from neighboring schools could have flowers delivered to girls at our school, usually in the middle of class for maximum envy and sadness.  Another bad thing about February: Mardi Gras.  Oh sure, Mardi Gras is all fun and partying, but 99% of us are just irritated that we can't take a vacation in New Orleans.

February view from my window

All that said, in my opinion, February has some real assets.  It might be my favorite month.  First is St. Brigid's day, February first.  Even if I didn't have a daughter named Brigid, I would welcome the feast day of a patroness of Ireland and celtic goddess.  St. Brigid's day is associated with pagan festivals concerning the return of spring.

On February 3rd is St. Blaise's day.  Growing up, this was one of my favorite days because of the blessing of the throats.  Our whole school would troop into the church for mass and at one point would march up to the aisle to the priest, who blessed each of our throats with a pair of crossed candles.  Ash Wednesday follows soon after St. Blaise's day, and while it signals the beginning of Lent, it is still diverting.  I used to enjoy the Ash Wednesday service almost as much as the blessing of the throats.  And Lent isn't so bad.  It offers an opportunity to try to be a better person.

Finally, the number one reason that February ranks high in my book is because it is when the days become appreciably lighter.  I don't mind the cold and snow and other winter inconveniences, but I hate the darkness, particularly the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when it's already dusk when I leave work for the day.

I'm deficient in vitamin D (officially confirmed by labs) and even though I take a supplement, the lack of sun in winter makes me feel crazed and depressed and my psoriasis flares up worse than ever.  So February, as noted by the Celts, signals the return of the sun.  February is a month for reveling in the winter sunlight, making plans and thinking happy thoughts while still enjoying cozy winter things like knitting and hot drinks and hibernating.  And today, there is a fresh fall of snow, to remind us that it is still winter, which in my opinion is another point in February's favor.

I hope you are enjoying your February.


  1. The extreme cold makes my "woman of a certain age" face rash flare up, so I don't care for that part of February. But February is short and after the busyness of January, a nice relief to be honest. I like snow days and hibernating - gives me time to work on some projects. Valentines day gives us an excuse for date night and a bottle of something sparkling while we toast another year together, so I am rather fond of that particular day. Blame it on the hopeless romantic I married.

  2. Count me in with the majority. February is not among my favorite months. Around here, we either have snow most of the time, or cold, slushy rain. I like Valentine's Day as an excuse to eat (more) chocolate).

    I wish I had known about St. Blaise's Day. If I had, perhaps I wouldn't have a cold right now.

    As a self-employed person who must pay my own taxes, February is when I feel tax season start to loom - not just annual returns but first quarter returns. For me, my two part-time employed older children, and my aunt. For some reason, I must assemble all the documents. So, blah to February.

    Gee, I'm a true grump, ain't I?! (going to take my vitamin D, with some hot chocolate, and crawling back in my cave....)

    1. There's a terrible cold going around my office too. I guess we all need a St. Blaise intervention. Enjoy your hot chocolate!

  3. It's a short month with more daylight + my birthday, so I've never grouched about it to the degree I grouch about January!
    And I'm with you on the V-day holiday. I never really celebrate it, aside from sending cards to the grandmas and assisting the kids with their classroom obligations.

  4. I am! I love February! I may love all months and seasons! Insufferable, I know. I grew up in northern Sweden and to the year cycle is an adventure spent at home. So many different things to enjoy.

    The return of the afternoon light really is something precious. Achingly lovely, wistful pre-spring feeling.