In the past, I always thought of Valentine’s Day as a holiday that celebrated romantic love. Fancy dinners at expensive restaurants, jewelry and diamond rings, chocolates, flowers, and proposals are the things that came to my mind. However, as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that it’s not just about romantic love. Valentine’s Day is about all of the forms of love you share with your family, friends, and humanity.
This year, instead of Valentine’s Day being all about me and my husband, I am going to celebrate and honor all those I cherish in my life.
Here are 10 ways you can show your friends and family how much you care about them as you celebrate Valentine’s Day.
1. Leave Notes
When my husband and I first got married, I would occasionally sneak notes into his lunch to let him know how much he meant to me. He would usually email me halfway through the day to say thank you and that he felt the same way. Leaving notes is a small gesture that can make a big impact. They are tokens of affection that can be kept for life. You don’t need to wait until your next big romantic wedding anniversary ideas to show your love.
2. Have a Scavenger Hunt
I remember having a lot of fun doing scavenger hunts in the mall when I was younger. You can set up your own scavenger hunt for your kids, spouse, or friends as a way of telling them the many ways you love them. All you need to do is hide candy, notes, or flowers around your home in meaningful places with clues to find additional surprises. For example, you might have a clue that leads your kids to the place where you read their bedtime story. When they get there, they will find a small gift and a clue to the next location.
3. Cook Heart-Shaped Foods
This is also one kids will really enjoy. For the entire day, eat only heart-shaped foods. You can make heart-shaped pancakes, sandwiches, and cookies. Just be sure to feed them something healthy to go along with the heart-shaped cuisine!
4. Make Cards
You don’t have to be a kid to have fun making and decorating cards! Don’t waste your money on greeting cards – make them yourself or find ways to recycle and reuse them. Use this as an opportunity to write whatever you want and really express yourself. Get those creative juices flowing!
5. Visit a Nursing Home
There are many people out there who do not have anyone to show them love and kindness. This is especially true of elderly people in nursing homes. These wonderful and wise individuals LOVE when they get visitors. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to go and spend some time with them. Bring some supplies and see if they’d like to make some cards with you!
6. Make Some Fun Valentine’s Day Treats
As I mentioned, it is hard not to associate Valentine’s Day with chocolate. So, if it doesn’t feel like Valentine’s Day without chocolate, make some tasty Valentine’s Day treats and dessert recipes with your friends or kids. You can find some really great, Valentine’s Day themed recipes on the Internet.
7. Play Darts
I get it, Valentine’s Day can sometimes be a downer. If you’re not super excited to celebrate, gather some friends and have an “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party like they do in the movie, Valentine’s Day. During the party, you can play darts by blowing up red or pink heart-shaped balloons and seeing how many you can pop. This can turn a potentially depressing holiday into a good time!
8. Valentine’s Day Trivia
Which state produces 60% of American roses? California. How many Valentine’s Day cards are given annually? About 1 billion. What percentage of pet owners give their pet a Valentine’s Day gift? 3%. There are some really interesting facts about Valentine’s Day. A trivia game at a Valentine’s Day party is a great ice breaker.
9. Spread The Love
In honor of ol’ cupid, why not spread a little anonymous Valentine’s cheer? If you live in the northeast, you may have heard of the Valentine Bandit. This unnamed do-gooder is known for having placed hearts all around the city of Portland, Maine every Valentine’s Day for the last 35 years! You don’t have to do something this grand to make people feel good. Simply take the cue and send anonymous cards and goodies to friends and neighbors, or decorate your neighborhood.
10. Borrow From Other Holidays
There are some fun and frugal Christmas and Thanksgiving activities, games, and crafts that can easily be translated to Valentine’s Day. These include everything from trivia and puzzles, to serving those less fortunate. Just change the theme from Thanksgiving or Christmas to Valentine’s and you’re all set!
Do you have any special Valentine’s Day traditions? Please share your ideas in the comments below!
(photo credit: Shutterstock)