Roses, chocolates, and lace are everywhere right now. Just about any doodad you can think of bears the words “I Love You” or “Be Mine”, and sits on a store shelf ready for purchase. While it’s nice to be on the receiving end of one of those heart shaped candy boxes, all of that marketing can make the big holiday of love feel cheap. But, there are some creative and meaningful alternatives out there.
A friend of mine once told me Valentine’s Day was her favorite holiday. (Seriously? Who says that?) She makes valentines and sends them out to different people every year. For her, its not about romance. It’s about celebrating love; the kind that sustains all kinds of relationships.
That’s pretty inspiring.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m on a love note writing kick. Every day this month, Prince Charming gets a handmade, handwritten love note from yours truly. My motives for blogging about it were simple. I wanted the accountability. If I made it public, I’d follow through; I’d be more thoughtful. And second, I hoped to encourage you to pen some love of your own.
It doesn’t take much.
It’s no secret that an unexpected word of kindness does wonders for the soul. We’ve all been in a spot where encouragement was in short supply and desperately needed. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, a surprise “I love you” is pretty epic. Even when it seems small.
Every day in my high school cafeteria, one of my friends had a banana in her lunch. She brought lunch from home, made by her step-mom. And there was always a banana. You knew it was hers, too. Why? Because there was always a sweet note written on the peel. Coolest thing ever! My friend would first find the fruit, read it, smile, then chow down.
Each year, on her birthday, my quiet neighbor sends out cards to her friends. I learned this when I found one of them in my mail box. She lives next door! Neither the card nor message were elaborate. But they WERE pretty special. It blew me away that though we chat on the phone, visit with each other over coffee or while doing yard work, she chose to mail me a card.
Texts and instant messages are great tools for convenient and quick communication. I’ve had some pretty awesome conversations via my phone’s keyboard. But there’s something different about a note that’s been handwritten. Don’t you agree? Getting a card in the mail is still a thousand times more exciting than finding an e-mail in your inbox. Old fashioned or not. A penciled sentiment left on the kitchen counter, tucked into a book, or set on a desk says a whole lot more than the words it bears.
Your people need you.
I don’t know your circumstances. You might be on top of the world, or buried in heartache. But where ever you find yourself, you have influence. You matter in ways you can’t even begin to fathom! Someone that you’re connected with needs to hear from you. You have an impact like no one else- because there is no other you. You, my friend, are irreplaceable. Please don’t take that lightly.
There are a lot, A LOT, of people you and I could reach out to. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Spouse, kids, parents… they come to mind immediately. But then there are friends; close friends. Not-so-close friends. Co-workers. People you know from your church or through hobbies. Hairdressers, babysitters, teachers, and on, and on.
Just choose one. One. That’s all. Take 2 minutes and write a note of kindness to someone. (Bonus points if you mail it. And extra credit for creativity.) Tell your lover there’s no one you’d rather be with. Thank your friend for being your friend. Leave a smiley face for your mail carrier.
If you’re stuck on what to write, we’ll get to that in an upcoming post.
Love all year
Valentine’s Day is just one day. You might love it or loathe it, or not even care. But there are at least 364 other days to celebrate real love, and in meaningful ways. A handwritten love note is a simple and easy thing to do. Give it a shot! You may never know the impact your two minutes will have on someone.