Ah Yes it is Valentine’s Day! That day of the year when it is not out of the ordinary to see Red Roses being delivered by the dozens. Chocolates and cards expressing messages of LOVE are everywhere. Grocery stores have balloons for those who want to express themselves in that manner.

When I was younger I used to think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for LOVERS ONLY! I had a couple of Valentine’s when I was without someone to call my own. On those occasions I realized that I should be treasuring and nurturing the relationships I had with my friends and relatives. To that end I went shopping and found cards that I could give.

Back then there was not the assortment that exists today. I had to get pretty creative in my selections in order to match them with their recipients.But I was able year after year to accomplish just that. You see once I started giving cards to my mother,brother and closest friends at Valentine’s Day, I never stopped. I always remembered from year to year what it felt like when I thought I was all alone, and what it felt like when I gave out my cards and people responded positively.

I suddenly felt connected and the holiday that I used to view for LOVERS became transformed into a day of celebrating LOVE period. I have carried on this tradition of celebrating LOVE with my children as well. I began when my daughter was about 4 years old. We had just gone to the local market and purchased her Valentine’s to give out at pre-school. After they were all in the envelopes and the names placed on them, I began thinking about what other arts and crafts project we could get into together.

After looking at a crafting magazine, I had an idea. I took an empty tissue box and some pink and red construction paper. My daughter and I cut out hearts from the red construction paper and covered the box with pink paper. My daughter then expertly glued the red hearts to the box using her glue stick. We filled the box with bite sized chocolates and she presented it to her grandmother for Valentine’s Day.

My mother was overjoyed with the honesty of the gift from her granddaughter. They exchanged a heartfelt hug and I saw a tear escape my mother’s right eye. This to me is the real meaning of Valentine’s Day. When we are able to express our love to one another so honestly that emotions instead of words take over in our response to what we are receiving.

Giving something to someone you love is always rewarding. This is especially true when you discover that bringing joy to someone has a benefit for you!