Why should Christmas be the only holiday honored with the catchphrase “keep that spirit all year round”? The values at the “heart” of Valentine’s Day are equally deserving of ongoing attention.
Here are five values widely honored each February, with ideas for bringing them into your family’s life any day of the year.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to neglect small expressions of tenderness that affirm to your family how much they mean to you. Too much taking for granted that “they already know I care” has murdered many a marriage and many a parent-child relationship. Try never to let a full day pass without telling each of your family members directly (with eyes and actions as well as words) that you love them.
If there’s anything more priceless than telling someone “I love you,” it’s saying it in the “love language” they understand best. Your family’s favorite Valentine’s Day traditions can give you ideas for the rest of the year: if your daughter’s face lights up when you include a bouquet with her card, pick her some flowers on your way home next May.
You likely don’t shove a Valentine card at someone as you dash by en route to an appointment, or gulp down a Valentine luncheon as if you were due back at work in ten minutes. Why tear through “ordinary” life at always-late, relationship-neglecting, digestion-disrupting speed? Any moment can be special if you slow down long enough to appreciate it. And people who take life slowly and mindfully, not those who mindlessly cram in all the to-dos they can, are the ones who accomplish what’s worthwhile.
Of course we can’t gorge on boxes of chocolates 365 days a year, but there are ways to make any day “sweet” without violating the principles of good health.
Valentine’s Day’s association with hearts has led to February’s being named American Heart Month, a time for special attention to your physical heart. It pays to make healthy everyday practices enjoyable, not simply dutiful: and it’s doubly enjoyable to do it as a family.
May your family’s Valentine’s Day be filled with fresh blessings!