Most of us equate Valentine’s Day with romantic candlelit dinners with our one and only. And that is quite right. But sometimes it is necessary to focus beyond that which is sold to us via mass marketing.

Here is a challenge to you to find an opportunity to demonstrate true love by searching for a way to perform a random act of kindness as evidence of your love for others. As the Bible says: Love is patient; Love is kind; Love does not envy; Love does not boast; Love is not proud; Love does not dishonour others; Love is not self-seeking; Love is not easily angered; Love keeps no record of wrongs; Love does not delight in evil; Love rejoices with the truth; Love always protects; Love always trusts; Love always hopes; Love always perseveres; Love never fails.

It is possible to write a story on each of the 16 characteristics of love but, space not permitting, let us just encourage you this Valentine’s Day to at least focus on “Love is Kind.” Here are some suggestions of random acts of kindness:

Look up a forgotten friend;
Write a note of appreciation to someone;
Hug someone and tell them you love them;
Forgive an enemy;
Encourage a child;
Keep a promise;
Bake some cookies for someone;
Spend an hour listening to a lonely person;
Speak kindly to a stranger;
Smile at people for a day;
Take a leisurely walk with a friend;
Apologise for a wrong;
Talk with the TV off;
Volunteer to do the dishes;
Treat someone to an ice cream;
Fix breakfast Saturday morning;
Buy someone flowers;
Encourage a lonely widow or widower;
Visit a stranger in the hospital;
Invite someone to share tea and cake with you after church;
Tell a person what you most appreciate about them;
Offer to babysit for a weary mother;
Make a meal for a family with illness.

While this may not be traditional Valentine’s advice, it may have the power to change someone’s life or at least bring some hope during the month of love. And support a local restaurant and flower shop.

Fun facts on Valentine’s Day

  • The oldest record of a valentine was a poem Charles Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.
  • Hallmark was one of the first to mass produce a Valentine’s Day card, way back in 1913.
  • About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, making this the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year.
  • In the Middle Ages, youngsters drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression ‘to wear your heart on your sleeve.’
  • Diamond retailer, James Allen found in 2017 that 43% of millennials chose Valentine’s Day as their top choice of day to propose or be proposed to.
  • The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868. 
  • Every year, around 9 million people buy their pets a Valentine’s Day gift.
  • Many believe that the ‘X’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an ‘X’, which was then kissed to show their sincerity.
  • Physicians of the 1800s commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.
  • A kiss on Valentine’s Day is considered to bring good luck all year.
  • In the United States, consumers buy over 58 million pounds of chocolate.
  • The most given gift on Valentine’s day is sweets, followed by flowers.

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