Valentine’s Day – Not Just For Romance

Images courtesy of qthomasbower

Ladies, Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us. This fact is hard to ignore considering the flood of commercials inundating televisions, radios, and newspapers these days. Will he go to Jared? Will your kisses begin with Kay? Or, scariest of all, will you get the Hoodie-Footie this year?

Everything we see, hear, and read this time of year tells us that Valentine’s Day is a time for guys to give obligatory gifts to the women in their lives. I notice there are very few commercials targeted at women for this holiday. As a single woman, I notice we are left out of the mix entirely. The thing is love comes in many forms. Sure, romantic love dominates Valentine’s Day, but we can show our love in many ways even if we don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend to spoil. Let’s take a look at some of our options for sharing the love this year.

Photo courtesy of sonofabike

The first, most obvious option is to love on our families. Take the grandparents out to lunch. They would love to see you. In particular, if you have a grandparent who is a widow/widower, they undoubtedly get lonely. Spend an hour or two catching up and it will mean the world to them. If you can’t see them in person, even a phone call could brighten their spirits on Valentine’s Day. The same goes for our mothers. Send your mom some flowers, or invite her to join you for a pedicure or a massage. Our moms rarely take time to spoil themselves, and as much as they’d like to be treated to some pampering, it would mean even more if we joined them. Another option is to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children. Sit down with them and help them make Valentines for their other parent, and for their grandparents. Kids love giving Valentines as much as the recipients enjoy getting them. I make a heart-shaped pizza with my kids every Valentine’s Day. We also make red-and-white strawberry-and-marshmallow kebabs for dessert. The kids love having this simple tradition and look forward to it each year. Not a big pizza person? Try making heart shaped pancakes in the morning instead.

Photo courtesy of Johannes_wl

Beyond treating our families, we can celebrate Valentine’s Day with our friends. I belong to a “Ladies First” club where we get together once a month to have dinner and talk and just enjoy being together. For Valentine’s Day, try out a new restaurant and have a theme, like everyone wearing red or pink to dinner. Another option is having your girlfriends over for some appetizers, wine, and a chick flick like The Notebook. If some of the ladies in your circle of friends do have boyfriends or husbands, you can always go out on another night that week. It doesn’t have to be February 14 to be special; it just needs to be a time to celebrate having the support and friendship of positive, fantastic women in your life.

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When it comes to Valentine’s Day, who says you have to limit yourself to sharing the love with people you know? Think of all of the elderly people in assisted living or nursing home facilities. Many of them rarely get visitors or have anything special given to them. Why not make some homemade Valentines and deliver them, then stick around for a little bit of conversation? Side note–if you have kids this is a great experience for them to share with you. There are other, simple ways to treat strangers to a little kindness on Valentine’s Day. You could always give the barista some cash to buy the next few people in line their morning coffee, or put some change in a few parking meters on your walk to work. Several news stories over the holidays focused on people who went into stores and paid off layaway accounts for total strangers. You may not make such a grand gesture, but even something as small as paying the toll for the car behind you could make someone’s day.

Finally, don’t forget to treat yourself on Valentine’s Day. Read a good book, take a nap, go for a run, get yourself some flowers–anything that makes you smile and feel good inside. After all, it is often said that we must love ourselves before we can be open to loving others and allowing them to love us in return.