In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple months (and if so, wow - why was this one of the first websites you decided to look at?), you’ll know Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Yes, the day when we show the people we’re romantically involved with how much we love them – more often than not, by buying them stuff.
But, believe it or not, spending money isn’t the only way to show someone you love them, nor is 'romantic' love the only type of love out there. Everyone wants to feel cared for and appreciated every now and then. Friends, family, colleagues, even the friendly bus driver who always brightens your morning! So, whether you’re in a relationship this 14 February or not, you could make it a day to show all the people you appreciate having in your life how you feel about them.
- First, give some proper thought to what the person might like – naturally, certain things that will make one person’s day might make another feel horrendously awkward! Think about their personality type and try to remember what they appreciated in the past if you can. It tends to show in a gift if you’ve put lots of thought into it beforehand!
- You don’t necessarily need to go out and spend on chocolates and flowers. Make your own gifts if you’re crafty. How about home-baked mini muffins as an alternative to a pricey box of chocolates? Or DIY flowers like these ones? Don’t make buying a gift feel like an obligation just because it’s Valentine’s. Sometimes spending time on something means so much more than spending money.
- The simplest way to show someone you appreciate them is to tell them! Whether it’s face-to-face or over the phone, it could make their day a whole lot brighter. Why not write a letter or give them a card listing all the reasons you’re thankful they’re in your life? If it’s someone you live with, you could write the reasons on post-it notes and stick them around the house to be found throughout the day.
- Just hang out! Spending time with someone can be the perfect (and easiest) gift. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a big day out – going to the pub or watching a film together would work. Ask what’s going on in their life (and listen!) and show you appreciate having them around. (This is probably more of an option for friends, family and colleagues than your morning bus driver, but hey, you never know!)
- It’s likely there are people in your world who help to make your life easier every day without you ever really noticing it. It’s often the case that you’d only realise what they’re doing and how much it means to you if they ever stopped. So, this Valentine’s Day, why not show your appreciation by helping out more, lightening their load and making their life that little bit easier? You could roll up your sleeves and help around the house and garden for your parents, assist a colleague with their workload, or even wash your best friend’s car! Even better, it could be the perfect opportunity to spend some time together.
- Finally, don’t limit yourself to one day in February to show the people around you that you appreciate and care about them – we’re compelled as Christians and as humans to love each other all year round. But hey, if you feel like you aren’t doing enough of it, Valentine’s Day seems like as good a day as any to start!