Celebrate Spirit of Valentine’s Day Year Round

23032783_SYes, Valentine’s Day is over for another year, but don’t let that stop you from letting the people you care about know how you value and appreciate them. Here are a few small ways to spread the spirit of Valentine’s Day all year long.

Little notes: In a lunchbox for your kids, in a suitcase for a traveling family member, or even snuck into a jacket pocket, send a little note of appreciation along with your loved ones.

It can be specific such as “I really appreciated you clearing the table last night without being asked. I can see that you’re growing up.” Or you could just generally say, “I’m happy to be in your life,” or simply “I love you.” If you feel shy about doing this, how about just drawing a heart?

Say it: If you’re happy to see someone who’s been gone, say so. If you’re going to miss someone, say so. If you appreciate someone taking out the garbage, say so. So many times we let those chances go by without remark, but there’s power and kindness in showing your appreciation and caring.

Do it: Maybe you know your spouse is going to be really tired after a long day at work, so you have dinner waiting along with a favorite dessert. There might be a tough test hitting today, so you make pancakes for breakfast to start your kid off feeling good. Saying you appreciate someone is wonderful, but showing it can be even better.

Give it: Does someone in your life love licorice? How about picking up a surprise box? Is red your daughter’s favorite color – would she like some hair ribbons or a red t-shirt? Does your son go through socks like crazy? How about buying 10 pair and dropping them on top of his chest of drawers? You don’t have to spend a fortune – just the fact that you’re thinking of someone can make them feel special.

If you take this approach year round – no one will be upset if you don’t go overboard on Valentine’s Day next year – although fresh flowers are always a crowd-pleaser!


Show Your Love for Valentine’s Day

12110886_SYou can take small steps to make this Valentine’s Day something special for those you love. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to let people know how you feel in numerous ways this Thursday. Here are just a few suggestions.

Start with breakfast: Do you like foam on your coffee but don’t have the equipment? You can recreate the froth with the instructions at this website. Take a toothpick to create the heart as shown in the photo. Coffee drinkers in your family will appreciate it, and you can do the same with hot cocoa for the little ones.

8720696_SAdd a few decorative touches to set the dinner table to celebrate the day. Whether you’re fixing a romantic meal for two or an entertaining evening for the whole family, adding red paper napkins and a few candles and some heart-shaped decorations makes a big difference in the look of your table.

If you would rather not buy decorations, take a walk through the seasonal area of your grocery or drug store. Heart-shaped candies of all shapes and colors can be scattered on your table to make a festive display. Larger chocolate hearts can serve as favors by each person’s plate.

17446774_SFinally, how about making or buying a special Valentine’s dessert? Any favorite cookies can say I love you with squeeze on frosting like the ones in the photo. Cupcakes with pink icing or a red velvet cake in heart-shaped pans become your own special Valentines gift to those you love.