Thursday is Valentine's Day.
Part of me says this is a silly holiday. We feel pressured to buy cards, flowers, and candy or make complicated Valentine's Day crafts, gifts and treats. Do we really need permission, encouragement, and (dare I say) strong-arming and (possibly even) guilt to move us to show love to those around us on this particular day?
Of course not.
Do we all do an excellent job of telling those we love that we really do love them all the other days of the year? Well, you can answer that one for yourself.
I'll be the first to admit that I often feel like all the day-to-day things I do for my family should say it all. While it does say a lot- goodness knows we should get love-credit for all we do- it isn't the same as taking time to make sure they get the message. It isn't the same as writing a personalized note or pulling a child in front of you and asking for eye contact to tell them how much you love them and how happy they make you- followed by a hug, a kiss and, if you're like me, misted-over eyes.
I have really fond memories of finding little homemade Valentines in my lunch box from my mom. She didn't have to take the time to cut out the red construction-paper-hearts with white paper-doily-hearts pasted on top and write a little note, but she did. She could have thought that all the laundry, meals made, bathrooms scrubbed, and homework checked for her five kids was enough, but she made this added gesture and, boy, it made me feel special.
It takes very little time and no money to make sure your kid(s), spouse, family and friends know they are incredibly special to you and appreciated by you. Just please don't feel bad if you're not channeling Martha Stewart this week. You've got all that laundry to do and those nutritious meals to make, remember?
And those little paper hearts in my lunch box sure drove home the point for me. No glue gun or candy thermometer required.