The biggest “love day” celebration comes on Valentine’s Day – February 14 – each year, when people remember the people they love and admire the most by offering a card, a call, chocolates, dinner or a gift.
When I was in elementary school, beginning the first week of February, each student would bring in a shoe box, decorated as a repository for classmates’ valentines professing their love (or like) to you. Even the kids who nobody liked received and gave valentines as a sign of unity. With some glue and scissors in hand, I would cut multiple hearts out of red construction paper and add a few of my mom’s paper doilies, add my name – Christine – in big letters (in crayon, of course), and proudly display it at the back of the classroom with the others students’ boxes. Of course I hoped that mine would stand out so my classmates would simply have to put a valentine in my decorated box. The memory is vivid because it was the one time of the year when appreciation was shown through giving and receiving.
In my workshops, people often tell me how much it means to them to receive recognition. “All I want to know is if I’m doing a good job.” “I would like to receive some feedback more often than just during my annual performance review.” Words cost less than valentines. Words cost nothing, yet they can bring such joy and delight when they are sent with love, kindness and good intention.
I purchased this adorable valentine at an antique store years ago and recently rediscovered it while cleaning out some drawers. It got me thinking that we need to share our love, appreciation and gratitude with people who mean the most to us more than just once a year. Imagine how different your life would be if you brought the spirit of Valentine’s Day into your daily activities.
Who in your life would you like to give a valentine to? That valentine can come in any form: A written letter, a card, a brief phone call or even an email or text message. Whether it is love or gratitude that you want to acknowledge, appreciation or a thank you for a kind gesture, take the time to do it. People in your life will truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.