“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
― Mother Teresa
It's Valentine's Day tomorrow.
I'm not overly sentimental when it comes to Valentine's Day.
I used to be, I guess.
When I was younger.
I LOVED the Valentine's Day parties we had at school during the elementary grades.
I coveted those little paper valentines we used to give out.
Especially if it came from the right person.
And, truth be told, when my husband and I were dating, I'll admit,
it was BIG deal.
I would probably never have married him had he forgotten Valentine's Day then.
(Not like he would have!)
But, as I've aged,
and been married for 20 years,
and gotten caught up in the daily shenanigans of everyday life,
my Valentine's Day expectations have definitely diminished.
Sometimes it just seems like too much work.
Sometimes it just feels like another day that you have to spend money to tell someone you love them.
I'm cynical, I know.
My husband, on the other hand, the non-sentimental one,
likes Valentine's Day.
He feels it's a great opportunity to show love, to the ones we love.
He was the one who suggested I get something in the mail for our boys.
He was also the one who suggested we do something special with our daughter.
He is just so darn sweet with that kind of stuff.
And I'm kind of embarrassed that I didn't think of it first.
Because, as I reflect on it,
We should take every opportunity to express love to our family.
1 John 4:7a The Message (MSG)
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God.
Love comes from God.
So, let us continue to love each other.
I can't believe I needed to be reminded of this.
Obviously, I don't need to wait for special days or occasions to show love to the people who are dearest to me.
Nor should I limit my expressions of love to those special occasions,
but why not do something extra special on those days?
It doesn't need to be fancy,
nor do I need to spend a lot of money.
It just needs to be special.
So, because I love my family,
more than anything,
I took my cue from my super smart, and super handsome husband,
and brainstormed for a few ways to love them in a special way.
Turns out, it wasn't that hard.
Actually, it was kinda fun!
just in case you too, are looking for ways to celebrate those you love best,
here are 10 super easy, and, super last minute,
ways, to celebrate Valentine's Day.
1. Have a candle-lit supper. You have to cook supper no matter what, right? Set the table extra nice. Put a cloth on the table. Gather candles from around the house, as many as you can find, and place them on and around the table. Turn the lights down low. Put some pretty music on softly in the background. Use the special dishes, if you have them, the ones you save for company. Let your kids drink from stemmed glasses. They will feel so special. I'm 44, and I still feel special drinking from a stemmed glass!
2. Have a picnic in your living room. Spread a blanket on the floor. Get your fireplace going if you have one. Serve easy to eat picnic food. It's fun doing something different, and it doesn't have to be fancy. You could also get in your jammies and, (We're doing this!)
3. Watch a "love" movie at the same time.
Need a few suggestions?
Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves, (Our pick!)
Dances With Wolves
The Princess Bride
The Little Mermaid
Beauty And The Beast
Lady And The Tramp
The Parent Trap
These are just a few. There are tons of great family "love" movies out there!
(Um, be careful googling "family love movies"..... lots of garbage comes up!)
4. Make banana splits for dessert. (Yup, we're doing this too!)
Better yet, skip supper, and go right to dessert! What fun this would be! Load up with bananas and strawberries, chocolate sauce and whip cream! Having dessert for supper one night won't kill you!
5. Designate a love chair. Have each family member take a turn sitting in the chair, and have each person tell something special that they love about him/her.
6. Or, gather up some paper and scissors and pencils, cut out heart shapes and write little love notes to each family member. Take turns reading out the love notes you've received.
7. Have an older daughter? Send her flowers. To work, to school, to the house. Having flowers delivered is just so darn special, even if it's just from mom and dad!
8. Balloons. Fill the living room with them. Or you child's bedroom. I don't think there is an easier or more in-expensive way make an occasion feel special and festive, than with balloons. Get pink and red and white ones. Yes!
9. Write your spouse, or your mom and dad, or your sibling, a letter. Like, write an actual letter; with a pen and paper. My friend once told me that, people don't "read" hand written letters, they hear them. It's true. I recently received a thank-you note from a dear friend, and as I read that hand written note, I heard her voice. It was almost like her being in the room with me. So special. Obviously, if you're sending a letter in the mail, they won't get it in time for Valentine's Day, but that is ok. It is always so wonderful to receive a letter in the mail! (Beats bills every time!)
10. Record a video of yourself wishing a love one happy Valentine's Day, and post it to them on Facebook. Be silly! Or be sentimental. Either is fine! A simple post is ok, but, let's face it. If you're willing to embarrass yourself a little, (or perhaps them!) it's soooo much better! Perhaps you could take your cue from Buddy The Elf, and record a singing telegram! LOVE this!
I am not Mother Theresa.
And, while I will never be able to make a difference to world peace,
perhaps I could make a difference to those I love, by simply loving them better.
In the end, wouldn't that make a difference to world peace after all?
11. Um, for all you brave married folks out there......
You could take another cue from Buddy The Elf,
and purchase a gift for "someone special"!
Just, you know, not for your dad........