We know you're familiar with the extent Valentine's Day is touted by the media and greeting card companies. It's all about romantic love, right? And spending cash on expensive gifts, dinners, things that are colored red and of course, a greeting card or two. According to them, you've either got the romance or you're left out of the holiday cheer. But that's not necessarily true. This year, we decided to give V-day a run for its money, so to speak. We thought, why not embrace the message of love and appreciation by spreading it around? It's not about being single or being coupled up. It's more like a call to arms, to have at least one day devoted to showing love, not just in your household, but wherever you go.
It's Complimentary, Dear Watson
The power of a compliment, whether it's to a stranger or a loved one, is transformative. And the fact is, we just don't hand out these freebies often enough. So here's to making an easy, elementary decision to be especially generous with the compliments on Valentine's Day. Look around you and focus on everything you like. Someone's hair, smile or outfit. You'll be surprised at how good it feels to give and receive genuine appreciation.
Volunteer Your Time
No, I mean it. How many of us sigh wistfully when we hear of a good samaritan who volunteers regularly? If only we could find the time. Make the time on Feb. 14th. Call up your nearest assisted living facility for senior citizens and ask if you can come in and hang out with the residents. Bring a box of chocolates with you to pass out in the common area. Seniors are way too neglected on a holiday like Valentine's Day.
Donate Your Dough
Go to womenforwomen.org and buy a few paper or e-cards through the site. The money you spend is a donation to help women in eight wartorn countries receive training to better their lives and build their future.
Spend Some Time Making it by Hand
When you take the time to make something by hand, not only are you having fun expressing your creativity, you're really showing you care. That's why on a day like Valentine's, a handmade card means so much. Think of making a few to give out to best friends, helpful colleagues or strangers in the park. Not sure where to start? Try this stitching on paper technique. Of course, you don't have to make cards. A goofy gift is just as sweet.
Hug it Out
Give a hug. Ask for a hug.
Leave Something Extra in Your Wake
Whether it's a little candy heart on top of your credit card slip at the diner you lunched at or an additional couple bucks in the tip, leaving something extra spreads positivity and pay-it-forward vibes. You never know what kindness the waitperson could do for someone else in appreciation. That's really spreading the love.
Go on a Date
Even those of us in a happy relationship can get all scrooge-like about Valentine's Day. We decide we're going to boycott, stay in and not spend any money. The only problem is, you're wasting a day or evening of potential revelry. Ignoring it isn't necessarily the answer. If you're single, go on a friend date. Take yourself on a shopping date. Or do something with your partner that's simple and inexpensive like hanging out with senior citizens (see above), making handmade gifts for each other or going on a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood. The possibilities are endless.