Before the Chocolate Melts on February 14

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I’m not sure I really buy into the whole Hallmark “when you care enough to send the very best” idea of Valentine’s day.  Greeting cards keep getting more and more expensive and it’s always difficult to find a card that has the right message in it.  Besides, what is only one day a year for sharing your love for others?  What is a card, a bag of chocolates and flowers once a year?  Does this really show the love I have for my family?

A few years ago I started a new tradition with my family.  It was free and said all the right things.  It also lasted 14 days!  We didn’t gain weight or end up with cavities from the chocolates and the flowers didn’t lose their petals and die.  Now, I’m certainly not saying that I don’t like chocolate or flowers!  I love those gifts anytime, but I wanted to find a new and creative way to tell my family that I loved them.

On February 1, I wrote a sticky note message to each of my daughters and my husband.  Each note started with “I love that you…”  I wanted to make sure that the notes were character traits and specific things that I love about each of my family members.  Every day, I added a new sticky note to on the mirrors in the bedrooms and bathrooms.  On the 14th, Valentine’s Day, the final sticky note completed the heart shaped sticky love notes to my girls and husband.

As my girls have now moved away for school, I no longer have access to their mirrors to place my sticky love notes every day, but every day for 14 days I send them love notes in a text message.  I don’t always receive a text back, but I know they read the messages and I hope they feel the immense love I have for them!  I happen to know that my girls have kept their sticky notes from years past.  My husband’s notes have lost some color but they are still framing his side of the mirror in the bathroom.

How do you celebrate your love for your family and make it more than one day of candy and specialness?  Don’t wait until February 14 to say I love you.  Start any day of the year.

The gift is to the giver—it comes back most to him…it cannot fail.  Walt Whitman

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