Valentine’s Day Is All About Love

Valentine’s Day is all about love, in all its dimensions. What do you say we broaden our definition a little?

You probably already have some favorite traditions for celebrating with your sweetheart, and even if you don’t, there are about 87 million ideas on the internet. But let’s consider the whole Valentine’s thing more broadly, beyond just that one special person. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to show others how important they are in your life.

For a friend who doesn’t drive at night. Take her or him to breakfast or lunch on Valentine’s Day, and tuck a homemade gift certificate inside their valentine card, one that promises 3 “limousine” services.

For new neighbors. You have already gone over to introduce yourself, and brought a “welcome” plate of cookies. Now, how about a small booklet sharing information on neighborhood merchants, local transit options, contact info for babysitters on the block.

For your kids’ teachers. Skip the usuals (they already get plenty) and use this occasion to thank them for  how hard they work and how much of their time (unpaid) they give to our children. Give them time back: a gift certificate for an afternoon of house cleaning [maybe recruit a few other parents to share the costs]. Offer to come in every Friday afternoon for a month, to help straighten the room at the end of the school day. Or put together a package of extra school supplies for the classroom (you know the teacher often buys them out of her own pocket, right?). Visit a couple of thrift shops and pick up an armful of children’s books for the reading corner.

For your mail carrier. I believe that they are forbidden to accept cash gifts or equivalent, but just a simple card from you will mean more than you can imagine. Write on the front “Dear USPS” [if you don’t know the person’s name] and stick it at the spot where they leave your mail (box, mail slot, whatever).

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