How do you and your kids celebrate Valentine’s Day? Maybe you spend an afternoon cutting out red and white construction paper hearts that the kids have fun gluing on lace, yarn, or glitter for the perfect touch, while munching on chocolate kisses. Those special valentines go to Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, their teachers, and probably Archie the dog and Sammy the cat. That was traditional in our family, as were store-bought valentines for our classmates.
This year, why not share Valentine’s Day greetings and treats with people who may not expect even one card on February 14th?
It won’t take long to discover people nearby who could use a valentine surprise. How about the elderly lady down the block who lives alone but always smiles and says, “Hello” when you walk by? It could be years since anyone gave her a Valentine’s Day card or treat. I bet she’d be delighted.
Who can you think of who would enjoy being remembered on Valentine’s Day? How about the nurses at your children’s pediatrician’s office, or the soldiers and sailors at the local military recruitment center? Surely your pastor would like a card and some valentine cookies, as would the church secretary. And don’t forget your postal carrier or the Fed Ex or Amazon delivery person.
Our firefighters, police, and other first responders should definitely be remembered and thanked on Valentine’s Day for all they do all year long. Why not take some of those cards and homemade cookies to your nearby fire house and police station where they’ll be appreciated and enjoyed?
While your children’s teachers usually receive valentine cards, what about the school janitor or the nice ladies who run the school’s front office? And don’t forget the school crossing guards. A valentine card or treat would be a pleasant surprise for the helpful man or woman who makes sure your children safely cross the street on their way to or from school.
And don’t forget our furry friends at the animal shelter. A bag of doggie treats or a few cans of dog and cat food would be appreciated by both the animals and their keepers. And people treats will make Valentine’s Day special for the staff, too.
Maggie Moyer of Yorba Linda said their sons, Joe and Luke, at ages 8 and 10, started using Valentine’s Day to show kindness and love to folks outside of the family. “One year,” said Maggie, “Joe wrote a note to the mailman and gave him a Starbucks card.” She said one time they brought treats to an elderly care facility, and another year they brought candy and flowers and joined the residents in playing Bingo. What fun!
“Luke likes to recycle and donate the money to the elderly care facility,” said Maggie, who explained that older people have a special place in her heart. That definitely shows in how she’s taught her boys.
Random acts of kindness are welcome any day, but especially so on Valentine’s Day. Give it a try this February 14th.
Terri Daxon is a freelance writer