As I entered a Target store in Phoenix, Arizona I was surrounded by pink balloons, stuffed teddy bears, and shelves jammed with greeting cards and shiny red boxes of chocolates. I hurried through the jungle, passing end-cap displays for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Suddenly I felt sad, the same sadness that taunts me at Christmas. Sigh. Corporate tentacles have done their greedy best to snuff the heart out of Valentine’s Day.
It’s estimated that Americans will spend about $19 billion on Valentine’s Day. But I’m not one of them. If I’m going to say, “I love you,” I’m not going to do it with a box of candy. Yet Valentine’s Day (the history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery) is about telling someone that you love them, right?
My Dad always said, “Don’t complain, Marion, unless you offer a solution.” Well, Dad, you’re right. Here are seven, softer ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day–they won’t cost a dime but your effort will yield a million spiritual dollars.
- Forgive someone you’ve hurt.
- Pray for someone who is ill.
- Go for a walk with a friend.
- Send love to your neighbors.
- Send love to your community.
- Send love to your country.
- Send love to everyone in the world.
Love to you, too.