Holiday is a time to give and receive love

February 06, 2004|by LYNN F. LITTLE

This year as you look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day, let your creative juices flow. Here are some ideas that may spark fresh thinking on ways to honor this day of caring:

  • Why not shy away from expensive gifts? The spirit of Valentine's Day is often best expressed in heartfelt gestures of thoughtfulness and love - a romantic walk in the moonlight, a surprise phone call, a short note of appreciation, a homemade gift or card.

  • Plan ahead. Set aside a few extra hours before Valentine's Day to mail some cards or plan special activities for the week of Feb. 14.

  • Be flexible. If it isn't convenient to celebrate on the actual holiday, you can do so any number of days before or after.

  • Why not call a young couple you know and offer to babysit so they can enjoy a romantic evening together?

  • If you are fortunate enough to have parents who are living, touch base with them and express your affection and appreciation.

  • If you have physical or financial limitations, remember that a gift of loving thoughts, a prayer or a brief phone call can be a wonderful way to observe this day.

  • Remember those who are alone. Whatever their age, Valentine's Day can be painful for those who have no one else to celebrate with. Consider organizing a gathering for elderly singles in your immediate community, or invite a small group of singles over for dinner and conversation.

  • Start a new Valentine's Day tradition: For example, donate time or money to a local soup kitchen or food pantry. Ask permission to visit folks at a nearby nursing home. Invite a friend to join you and pick up some little heart candies or small gifts, maybe ones that you and your family have made together. Distribute your gifts with heartfelt smiles, warm handshakes and a big hug when that seems appropriate.

These are just a few suggestions to spark creativity. In addition to adding your own thoughts, why not brainstorm unique and enjoyable ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with a loved one or a group of friends? There is no telling what interesting ideas you might dream up.


The symbol of Valentine's Day is the heart - a reminder of the heart's wisdom and of the universal need to give and receive love. Happy Valentine's Day.

Lynn F. Little is family and consumer sciences educator with Maryland Cooperative Extension in Washington County.

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