Valentine's Day

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is all about romance. 

Americans are expected to spend about $20 billion on cards, flowers, jewelry and other gifts this Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation.

But a day that celebrates romantic love can be a setup for disappointment for many people.

How about shifting the focus of Valentine’s Day to Someone who loved us so much He died on the cross for us? Jesus loves us every day, not once a year. He loves the lonely, the disappointed, those who have been wounded and those who have given up on romance.

Everyone likes to be remembered, so here are some ideas to share the love of Christ and let people in your life know they are loved this Valentine’s Day.

>Give someone a heart attack: Get a pad of heart-shaped sticky notes. Write something you like about that person on each heart and place on a mirror, steering wheel, pillow, dresser, in a lunchbox or on a door.

>Create a special Valentine treat. Arrange heart-shaped candies, strawberries, red and pink treats on a plate or tray.

>Make Valentine coupon books for children. Buy or make small books with coupons such as: Extra bedtime story; stay up an hour past bedtime; pick the dinner menu; invite friends to stay the night; order pizza with your favorite toppings; skip a chore; go for ice cream; go out to breakfast.

>Give some small gift of candy, treats or flowers to someone whose spouse is on active duty in the military.

>Ask permission at a senior living center to hand out valentines at lunch or dinner.

>Make “Ten things I love about you” cards. Use construction paper, stickers, crayons and markers to make cards that list 10 things that make someone special. Often people treasure these for years.

>Share Valentine’s Day with someone—a neighbor, an acquaintance or friend who may be alone that day.

>Take a bouquet of flowers to someone who needs a little kindness.

>Share kindness. The week before Valentine’s Day, draw a kindness tree on a large piece of construction paper. Cut pink and red hearts from construction paper and place nearby. When children do something kind for someone else, let them place a heart on the kindness tree.

>Go on a heart hunt: Cut hearts from white, pink and red construction paper. Assign a color to each member of the family. On each heart write something you love about that person. Hide the hearts for a fun scavenger hunt.

>Remind children of your love. Fill a small, clear jar with Hershey’s kisses. Attach a heart-shaped note to the glass that says: “For when I’m not around.”

>Take a handful of candy hearts everywhere you go on Valentine’s Day. Give them away to people you encounter that day.

>Tell your own valentine story at dinner.