Valentine’s Day is defined as a “holiday when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica (Encyclopedia Britannica). This definition may isolate the holiday to “lovers,” but in 2019 it’s time to broaden and modernize the meaning of the day. Don’t feel that you only have to share Valentine’s Day with a lover. Celebrate people in all areas of your life this February 14th. Tensions are often running high these days with the effects of the recently reopened government and brisk winter weather. We could all use some love and care, and Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to share both.
There are many ways you can show love to others. If you share an office space with stressed coworkers, consider gifting them small treats to demonstrate your appreciation for them. Workplace Valentine’s Day gifts can be tricky—we aim to show that we care but also want to stay professional. Consider going old school—you can purchase mini Valentine’s Day kits (and candy) at your local pharmacy to give to your colleagues. Coworkers will appreciate the nice thought, and the small gift is office appropriate. Candy and small treats also serve as great gift for your classmates. You might also consider writing little notes of appreciation to your coworkers or peers to let them know they are loved.
It’s completely OK to be more personal when gifting for a best friend or another loved one on Valentine’s Day. Think about ordering flowers online for your closest bud. A Starbucks gift card is a cheaper but just as thoughtful option if you are strapped for cash. A small email or text to a loved one expressing how grateful you are for them is meaningful. Flowers and a note can be a perfect gift for a significant other.
You can show love to and improve the lives of those who are less fortunate on Valentine’s Day. Try volunteering at a nearby homeless shelter or buying a meal for someone in need. Helping someone who is struggling will be sure to lift their spirits.
Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is a day to revel in and celebrate love, and it doesn’t have to be pressure-filled. A little compassion and a small message of love can go a long way. Be sure to enjoy the day and sharing love and kindness with those you care about.
Kat Frabotta is a young adult living in New York City. In her dream world, she has a Chihuahua named Frances, but for now, dog-sitting will have to be enough. She hopes to visit Nigeria one day and has an unhealthy obsession with pasta.