“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get-
only with what you are expecting to give-
which is everything.”
Katherine Hepburn, Me (1991).
LOVE IS CELEBRATED annually with one special day set aside mid-February as Valentine’s Day. An entry in the Huffington Post estimates that Americans will spend over $17 billion to celebrate love this year. If the print and TV ads are any indication, the emphasis is on lovers expecting grand gestures and expensive outings and gifts. A review of TV sit-com stories suggests considerable storm and stress for characters planning or expecting extravagant Valentine’s Day gifts/events.
YET … WE MAY BE MISSING SOMETHING, by not seeing the potential of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to communicate our love and affection beyond our spouse/lover, to other loved ones in our personal social networks of mutual affection. Who are the persons in your social world who bring meaning and joy to your life?…(e,g, sons, daughters, siblings, parents, extended family members? ). You might also include other closely held friends in your network of affection.
“To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others.” Anne-Sophie Swetchine (1809).
ADS ARE PLENTIFUL this time of year for expensive gifts of jewelry/trips/evenings out. In my view, something expensive is not necessary. It really is the thought that counts.
IT’S A LOVELY TRADITION to receive a card with heart warming message, maybe enclosed with a special tea bag, or flowers (even one bud), or even a thoughtful message that says, ” I thought of you on Valentine’s Day”.
A MESSAGE OR SMALL GIFT tailored to fit the interests and likes of a special person…such as:
VALENTINE’S CARD with a touching message relevant for the relationship;
BOOK from a favorite author, favorite candy bar, or music CD;
POEM written by you, or published one expressing your feelings;
BOUQUET of flowers, or just one beautiful flower bud in a vase;
CANDLELIGHT dinner with the recipient’s favorite foods;
MOVIE to watch together that you dislike, but know he loves;
BREALFAST in bed;
SMALL GIFT the person needs (e.g., kitchen, gardening or garage tool);
THOUGHTFUL TEXT message on Valentine’s Day to siblings
NOTE in card or post-it on mirror recounting a shared funny or loving event;
CHEERY VOICE MAIL wishing the recipient Happy Valentine’s Day;
PLANS to take someone to enjoy a new experience
PHONE CALL to elder kin and friends who are alone just to chat and wish them Happy Valentine’s Day.
A GIFT THAT REFLECTS the interests and needs of the recipient, and the nature of the relationship, can send a strong and loving message that communicates,
“I know you”,
“I get you”, and
“I love you.”
I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved.” George Eliot (1875).
THIS FEBRUARY, may you be the happy recipient and generous sender of affection to the nearest and dearest in your social network. Valentine’s Day, and the month of February, can remind us of the importance of communicating affection to those close to our hearts.
“Love will not always linger longest,
With those who hold it in too clenched a fist.”
Alice Duer Miller (1931).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sue Marquis Bishop
February 14, 2016