By: Jamie Perillo, LPC
"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa
Growing up as a young child, each Valentine’s Day my father brought home a large bouquet of flowers, box of chocolates, and usually a gift for my mother. My sister and I would receive smaller bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates, and sometimes a stuffed animal. My mom always played it off not to expect something – because that was not what the day was about, but my sister and I waited excitedly for our dad to arrive home. Although she said,” that’s not what the day is about – it’s about sharing love,” my mom smiled a large smile when my dad came through the door carrying her roses. (Just to be fair there was always a gift for dad too.) The flowers were nice, and don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy flowers and Valentine’s now from my man, but the best message my family instilled as a child and my family practices today is to spread the love. Aside from the flowers we volunteered for community projects, helped others at home, and made homemade gifts for friends and family “just because.” This Valentine’s Day remember the more we give love the more love spreads.
Eight Ways to Spread the Love With Your Family:
- Start a family secret valentine. Everyone chooses a name and over the week they have to do one kind act for their valentine.
- Surprise a friend, neighbor, teacher, or loved one with a card, a homemade gift, or a nice phone call.
- Be mindful to practice random acts of kindness. Hold the door open for someone, give a compliment, or help a friend at school or work.
- Use positive words. Give compliments and express thanks and gratitude.
- Do something special for your community. Volunteer for a community project – check out local schools, community centers, animal shelters, or places of worship for ideas.
- Leave love notes. Set up an area at home with crayons, paper, and other crafty items. During the week everyone can make a quick “love note” for family members and friends.
- Try something new as a family. Trying new activities together creates bonding moments and positive memories.
- Say, “I love you.” I’ve heard some say they save those three words for special occasions to save their meaning. I believe, however, to say, “I love you” as often as you can. For me those words never lose their meaning no matter when they are said. Let those you love know you love them.