How to show your love on Valentine’s Day

Margena A. Christian

It’s that time of year again–Valentine’s Day. Whether you choose to give someone a teddy bear, a card, flowers or jewelry, that tender notion should be given from a place of love.

The wonderful thing is that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day. But, just in case you’re seeking to show love in a new way this year, here are a few ideas.

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, founding and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, GA, suggests showing your love by reaching out to someone in need.

“Cards, candy and flowers are nice, but for someone who is hurting or feeling isolated, we need to give the gift of presence,” says Rev. Dr. Hale. “Giving someone the gift of presence is to give them you and not just tangible gifts. That works for a husband, wife, family, lovers and friends. In whatever way you can be present with or for that individual to express your love, that’s what I’m advocating.”

Rev. Dr. Hale also says that people can show their love on Valentine’s Day by serving others,

“A person might fend an individual or group of individuals in a nursing home, a sick friend or someone who is hurting or feeling discouraged and take that day as a day of service and love for someone who is feeling unloved. That could be a good friend or family member. Or it could be someone who just lost a loved one. Couples can do this. It can be an aunt, uncle, parent, cousin or friend who needs to be included in some special way.”

Noted relationship expert Dr. Grace Cornish says that single people should have a party and toast one another to show love on Valentine’s Day.

“They should say, ‘We are wonderful, very special and beautiful,'” she says. “No one is allowed to say anything negative. They can take turns saying something nice about everyone at the get-together. It should be an uplifting day where they can give everyone a balloon or pitch in and buy keepsake journals.”

Dr. Cornish, who recently authored The Sacred Bond: 7 Spiritual Truths To Recognize and Marry Your Very Own Soul Mate, also suggests creating a time capsule.

“Don’t open this until next Valentine’s Day. Have a journal, some of your favorite things and write what you want to accomplish. Put a photo of yourself in it and the goals and people you want in your life. Next Valentine’s Day check it. You can share it with someone or read it by yourself.”

If a child brings home his art work, make that offering very special.

“Hang it up on the refrigerator or frame it,” says Dr. Cornish. “Have them sign the picture and frame it and put it up. You boost their self-esteem. They feel special and like a little artist in the making.”

Sharing family time is especially important for husband-and-wife authors Nick Chiles and Denene Millner, the duo behind the What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know series and the novel A Love Story. They are the parents of two daughters, Mari, 5, and Lila, 2, and a 12-year-old son, Mazi, from Nick’s previous marriage.

Chiles suggests that men show their love on Valentine’s Day by “plotting and planning” something for that special someone that shows he will go that extra mile.

“It can be something that the guy doesn’t normally do like putting himself out there by cooking a special meal that is going to really demonstrate his love for his partner or his mom,” says Chiles. “They may see us sweating over a stove. The effort can be special.”

Chiles says that fathers might want to pay close attention to intricate details when planning a weekend getaway.

“Go to the extent of finding a baby sitter and coordinating things by having the kids packed and dropping them off and having a trip planned. You can spend the weekend in a nice hotel nearby with spa treatments and a movie. When you go to the extent of planning and taking care of details, it has a special impact.”

Time is one of the most special and precious gifts to show your love on Valentine’s Day, says Millner.

“Focus time and energy on that person, even if it’s sharing McDonalds or sitting on a blanket on the floor,” she says. “That time is intimate. It doesn’t have to be superexpensive and elaborate. Time and attention aren’t easy to give. That’s a big one. Hurried morns appreciate time alone.”

Millner adds that just because a person might not have someone special in his or her life on Valentine’s Day, that shouldn’t mean that he or she can’t celebrate.

“It’s also a day of love and remembering those you loved and those you love now,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be the opposite sex. It can be your mother, father, children, nieces, nephews or neighbors. It’s a day where you search inside your heart.”

Recalling her days of dating and being single, Millner says that her mom would send her three cards (pretty, funny and silly), a beautiful plant or chocolates.

“These things can be corny coming from a guy, but mean the world when coming from mom. She always made sure that I felt love. Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about? I want to do that for my girls.”

COPYRIGHT 2005 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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