I revel in this holiday - not because I think it's a valid one, but because I hate it. I hate this holiday probably about as much as anyone else. I absolutely hate meaningless cards and gifts. It's a completely stupid one made to sell cards and gifts. It puts undue pressure on people to be with someone on a day, no matter if they're otherwise perfectly happy being alone. In short, it sucks.
So why do I embrace it so? The other side of the same coin. Yes, it is a very annoying meaningless holiday - BUT it is so easy to use it to bring a bit of cheer to people who are otherwise down. A simple e-card, a few bits of chocolate, a quick note... It takes only a few minutes to gather these simple things... Yet the reward one gets from a recipient is a rush of emotion, a smile, a short happy conversation, an appreciative word.
I hate to paraphrase bad commercials, but it really does take so little to make a big difference in someone's day. I have to wonder at all the people who are just sulking and bitching - have they ever tried to send a note or two? perhaps give a little gift to a friend, neighbor, or coworker? probably not. It's a case of where I say they have no right to bitch about it unless they've made the effort and failed. It doesn't matter if one is alone, the day can bring joy by giving it.
The messages of appreciation I get back from some of the people I give things to each year makes it worth the entire effort. Others don't say a word - and that's fine, it doesn't matter to me. I do what I do because I want to, not because I expect anything in return. At work, only a few people know it was me who went in late last night when only the cleaning crew was about and left notes and chocolate on people's desks. I like that, being the mysterious one bearing gifts.
I would put the people who bitch and moan and whine about today up to a little challenge. It's too late to do anything about it today, but how about over the next month or two... Why don't they take the time and put forth the effort to send someone a small gift? Make it personal... Make it mean something to you, even if not to them. See what happens.