Not Just For Lovers: 7 Ways to Spread the Love This Valentine's Day

Oh, Valentine’s Day. You either love it or you hate it, so it seems. It can be such a stressful day, whether you’re scrambling to find that perfect gift for your significant other or are keeping busy by planning your annual “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party (which usually just ends up being you, alone, scarfing down discounted chocolate and crying over The Notebook… again).

This year, let’s give Valentine’s Day a run for its money: why not embrace the message of love and appreciation by spreading it around? If you want to make the commitment to show love wherever you go, here are seven fabulous ways to do it!

1. Send an e-valentine

You know, kind of like the obnoxious birthday greetings you used to send to all your friends back in the days of MSN. It’s cute, easy, and just the right amount of cheesy that V-Day deserves. Plus, it takes no time at all! Visit a website like 123Greetings or Blue Mountain and spend this year e-mailing all the cutest, mushiest e-cards you can find to everyone you know!

If you want to go that extra mile, try sending an e-valentine to the kids at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles – just picture their smiles!

2. Donate your dough

Instead of spending that money on chocolate and fancy dinners that will most likely just make you bloated and hate yourself, put it to good use! For example, support a Maritime cause and make a donation to the IWK Foundation, or to any charity of your choice! Nothing could fill your heart with more love than knowing you’ve helped fill somebody else’s.

3. Give some love to our furry friends

Animals need just as much love as humans do! Since Valentine’s Day is all about love and care, take some time to support the local SPCA – it’s the generosity of donors and supporters in the community that keeps so many animals safe each and every day. Check out the Fredericton SPCA’s wish list for their current needs, give a simple couple-dollar donation, or kill two birds with one stone and strike up a new habit for the New Year by becoming a volunteer! All the info you need can be found at www.frederictonspca.ca.

If the e-card idea really gets you pumped about V-Day, the World Wildlife Foundation offers both free e-cards and ones that you can send a donation with to support the WWF and spread some love all at the same time!

4. Make homemade valentines

You might have missed the deadline for sending out handmade valentines for veterans – but mark your calendar for the February 1st deadline next year! In the meantime, break out the construction paper, glitter, glue, and your inner elementary school kid and create some beautiful old-fashioned valentines and deliver them to friends, family, and even the residents of local nursing homes or shelters. Made with love, of course!

5. Warm heart, warm hands… head… toes…

Make some space in your closet and donate those clothes you never wear to somebody who needs them more than you do this time of year. While you’re at it, grab a couple cans of soup and drop it all off at Fredericton’s Greener Community Food Centre. Explore all the ways you can help those in need and make somebody’s grateful heart skip a beat!

6. Complimentary care

These days, everybody underestimates the power of the age-old, all-too-simple compliment. Whether it’s to a friend or a stranger, a nice comment can be transformative – and the truth is, we don’t hand out these freebies enough! Here’s to being generous and giving (and maybe even receiving) genuine appreciation on the day that is defined by just that.

7. Pay that love forward

Yet another thing that is all-too simple and all-too barely ever done! Spread some good pay-it-forward vibes along with all that love this year. Pay for the person behind you in line for coffee, leave a chocolate or piece of candy with your tip at a restaurant, send a Valentine to someone you know is alone this year, anything you can think of! Start a chain reaction of smiles this Valentine’s Day!

Get out there and fill the world with some tender love and care! Most importantly, let Valentine’s Day serve as a reminder to keep spreading that love every single day of the year – not just on February 14th.