(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Commemorating Time With Your Loved Ones
By April Bautista Garcia
Valentine’s Day is about so much more than candy, cards and roses—although those are nice perks! This day is about focusing on a special emotion that has been given to us by GOD. Originally, Valentine’s Day started as ancient Roman tradition. It was later transformed by the Christian community into a holiday that honored a man that gave his life while loving and serving others. Since that time, the popularity and tradition associated with the holiday has grown; it seems people enjoy celebrating the theme of L-O-V-E.
In keeping with that theme, for this HOW-TO I am going to focus on the art of showing love while commemorating time with your loved ones (I promise that this article will focus on more than a significant other!). I hope you enjoy as these suggestions as they come with an extra dose of personal experience, too!
I am going to recommend that you do one thing while you try out one of these suggestions: AVOID SPENDING MONEY. Sometimes the best way to honor someone is to put your wallet away and give someone quality time. This can be the least costly and most precious gift…
1.) MAKE A MEAL: Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “This is so cliché!” Everybody makes a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day—and that is true. However, the kind of meal I want you to make is different. I want you to make a meal for your MOM! Nothing says, “I love you” to a mom more than a clean kitchen and meal that she did not have to cook. My oldest daughter loves to experiment in the kitchen. I love it when she makes me her famous scrambled eggs and microwave sausage. As a mom, this is one of my favorite ways of spending time with a person I love while making a lasting memory.
2.) PLAY A GAME: Boardgames, charades, Pictionary, Go Fish; it does not matter which game you play. Just pick a game, sit down, and let yourself go. This suggestion is for family on many occasions, not just Valentine’s Day. My favorite thing to round up a group of close friends/family and spend an evening spending time and laughing with each other.
3.) VISIT SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT GET MUCH LOVE: Although this suggestion seems like it may contradict the concept of Valentine’s Day, there is not greater way to feel love than to give love. I encourage you to take a significant other, children, a special friend, or a group of people who may not get a whole lot love on Valentine’s Day. I recommend a convalescent home. You might want to even bring some themed cookies or soft candy that can be shared. No greater way to spend the day then showing Jesus’ love and spending time with a loved one.
4.) MAKE YOUR OWN VALENTINE: Whenever I hear this suggestion, I immediately want to cue the scene from “A Charlie Brown Valentine” when Sally decides to make her own valentine for Linus. Poor thing, she ends up writing the entire sonnet of HOW DO I LOVE THEE? This is not my recommendation. Instead, make time for you and your loved one to make a valentine for each other. Then plan on a time to share it with one another. Making your own valentine can mean a variety of different things. You can make a video valentine, create a popup card (my daughter loves doing this), or make a flip book or cartoon strip. You can even make your own Valentine-themed devotion. Do something creative! After you have finished your creation read it, sing it, or express it to the one you love.
5.) RECREATE: Now this suggestion is geared more towards couples. Sorry. I had to include at least one. So, for this suggestion, I recommend going back to the basics. Recreate your first date or a special date that you both loved and remember. You can make the same dish you had on the date or you can go to the exact location. You can dress-up like you did back when you went on the date. My recommendation is to re-live whatever it was that made this date so special.
Regardless of what you do, I hope that you do it with the heart and love of Christ. After all, His gift of eternal life was the ultimate gift of love. Blessings and Happy Valentine’s Day!
FUN FACT: During the Elizabethan era, people would celebrate the holiday by giving each other ornate cards made from bright colored paper with uniquely cut shapes. This is where the tradition of giving a valentine originated.