A New Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
By Joani Taylor
I remember as a child carefully picking the card from the box of Valentines that had the perfect pun on it for that particular friend. Maybe it was a picture of an Elephant, “I won’t forget you are my Valentine” or the bear that proclaims “I can’t bear to be without you.”
We would carefully tear along the dotted lines, so as not to rip them, then stuff each envelope with pink and yellow hearts, that when combined, made a secret message? Then we would run around the neighborhood leaving our creations on the doorsteps of our friends and those we had a childhood crush on. I remember that no matter how much we licked the envelope it wouldn’t stay stuck shut.
Later as teens, when the hormones were raging, Valentines became a day of Teddy Bears and giant candy kisses, first dates and holding hands in the movie. Then finally I found that special someone and Valentines became the day where we would present cards to each other and try to think of creative ways to express our love without spending too much.
After over 3 decades of marriage though, I’m finding that few of the sentiments on cards apply and I have often considered designing my own line of valentine cards that are sold according the number of years one has been together.
“Valentine, our body’s may be sagging, but my love for you never will.” Or:
“I can’t wait to celebrate our love tonight at Monte’s Steakhouse and use the buy 1, get 1 free coupon we have.” Or:
“Let’s do something wild; stay up past 9 pm and make out for 12 minutes straight.”
As the years have gone by, it’s become the day to day little things that mean more to me than this designated day of love, like when my hubby brings me a cup of early morning coffee before I get out of bed or folding a load of laundry on a night when I’m working late.
Valentines has really just become another day for us, so we decided to do something different and make Valentines a day of generosity. Instead of making it a selfish day of loving each other, something we already do every day, we’re turning it into a day of loving one another. We’ve discovered that by spending time together giving back is wonderful way to spread some Valentine cheer and bring us closer together at the same time. Here’s a few ideas we’ve had for this year:
- Make arrangements to drop off Valentine goodies to an elderly care facility. While at it you could stay a while and play a game of cards or just listen while they reminisce about the person they are missing.
- Contact a children’s grief facility, like the Sharing Place, and donate craft boxes or needed supplies.
- Plan a date night volunteering at the Utah Food Bank or serving up a meal at your local shelter.
- Instead of dinner at a restaurant, have dinner at a charity event. Many non-profits hold charity gala’s and auctions. To find them, check http://www.valleyjournals.com/calendar or contact the charity foundation of your choice.
- Give blood together. It’s something we all intend to do, make a date of it and then have a meal together afterwards.
Making February 14th a day to open your heart and share generosity is a great way for those of us with or without a Valentine. What better way is there to spend Valentine’s Day?
Joani Taylor is the founder of Coupons4Utah.com. A website devoted to helping Utah families save time and money on restaurants, things to do and everyday needs.