As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, hopefully everyone in a romantic relationship takes the time to celebrate with their partner. But what I want to focus on in this article is the importance of celebrating our loved ones on non-holidays too. You don’t have to do it in big, expensive ways. Letting somebody know you care about them is not reserved for romantic partners, and it doesn’t always require flowers, cards, and chocolates.
The ways to celebrate the people who mean a lot to us are basically limited by our imagination. If we just think of what happens during a normal day, we can see some opportunities to show our love. We can get up earlier than usual to clear the snow off of our spouse’s or kid’s car so they don’t have to start their morning commute by standing outside in the cold. We can take some extra time and shovel or snow blow our neighbor’s driveway or walkway when we’re out doing our own.
Or you could reach out to your mom, dad, or adult children who no longer live at home and let them know that you love them and are thinking of them. I’m talking about a call or a text that just comes out of nowhere, for no reason other than to tell them how much they mean to you. You could even mail them a card or a small, thoughtful gift that you know they’ll love.
What I’m getting at here is that fancy, expensive dinners and elaborate surprises are great, but they aren’t the only way to let people know we’re thinking of them. And if we think of these excessive gestures as the minimum standard for expressing our love to the people around us, we’re missing out on many, many opportunities to let them know just how much they mean to us. When we think of expressing love as requiring immense effort, it becomes intimidating rather than approachable.
Holidays are great because they are built-in days that help us to prioritize celebrating with our loved ones. But we know that our loved ones don’t mean more to us on those special days—those days are just great for triggering our memory and telling us that it’s time to celebrate the people who mean a lot to us. I want to encourage everyone reading this to find a way to celebrate a loved one today, for no reason other than that they mean a lot to you.
If we aren’t intentional about it, we are likely to find that the busyness of life has a way of filling our schedules (and our minds) to the point that doing anything extra just doesn’t occur to us. And we can go days or weeks without taking the time to let our loved ones know just how much we truly care about them. If that’s a pattern that you realize you’ve fallen into, take some time today to change things up.