Valentine’s Day gives us an opportunity to honor our significant others, but this genuine desire can be easily be redirected into mindless spending.
Valentine’s Day is also an excellent time to think more expansively about love and how we can give back to our loved ones and our communities in a more meaningful way.
Instead of buying traditional gifts, couples can choose to support a non-profit that embodies their hopes for the betterment of the world.
Here are ten ways to make Valentine’s Day more meaningful.
1. Instead of going out to dinner, stay in and cook a special meal for your loved ones. Consider donating the money you saved to a community meal program.
2. Rather than buying a bouquet of flowers, give to a community garden. Your donation will continue to give back as the months go by; those expensive roses will last just a few days.
3. Instead of a romantic weekend away, a donation to a shelter can help people find a caring place to sleep during the harsh winter nights.
4. Help someone in your own neighborhood. You may discover that a senior living near by needs a lift to the doctor or help getting groceries. Maybe you can shovel snow from their driveways.
5. Write a love letter to your significant other. Tell them all the reasons why you love them.
6. Get your heart pumping for a good cause. Sign up for a charity walk/run in your area for a cause that matters to you.
7. Give a Valentine’s gift that benefits a good cause. Donate to a charity in your loved one's name.
8. Indulge in a good read alongside your favorite pet. Take an hour or two and lose yourself in a romance novel or best seller.
10. Show yourself a little love. Take a bubblebath. Get a new haircut or a massage. Get a couples massage at a nice spa.
However you spend Valentine's Day, let someone know that you love them.
That's the best gift of all.
Nancy Burban 2014