My husband is not into receiving cards or gifts on Valentine’s Day. He is far more blessed by me cleaning the garage than by me getting him a card. The romance is never-ending over here. My kids, on the other hand, are only in it for the sugar. Candy hearts, chocolates, lollipops, heck yeah! Meaningful cards, meh.
This means that I have holiday energy to burn (even after I clean the garage). So, I like to look around and find other people who might benefit from a valentine or a little note. I usually cast my eye in two directions:
People who are in danger of experiencing a lonely Valentine’s Day. This category includes neighbors who have been recently widowed, single friends, and anybody I know who lives alone. I have a friend who tries to take her kids to a nearby nursing home several times a year. They prepare themed gift bags and hand them out to the elderly residents. Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion for this if you’ve got the wherewithal.
I also like to give valentines to people who are easy to overlook in the busy-ness of life. In general, I have tried to train myself to actually see people. In our daily lives, there are lots of people whom we easily look right past. For instance, the school custodian. Or the checker at the grocery store whom we see weekly. Others in this category include the church secretary, the mailman, paraprofessional staff at your kids’ school, the garbage man, students in the special ed classrooms, elderly neighbors who rarely come outside, lunch monitors, the hotel maid, and the bus driver. I love to give people in these categories small notes of gratitude from time to time.
As described elsewhere, I am not heavily into crafts. Making ornate cards and gifts by hand is beyond my capabilities. So, I just cut out some simple shapes or use plain stationery to jot a note of appreciation. I may also attach a Starburst or two. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture to be valuable. Let people know they are seen and their work is appreciated. If you have kids, let them help you with this. If making the cards with your kids stresses you out, let them help you deliver them instead.
© Laura Goetsch and goetschblog, 2015.