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A little kindness goes a long way. With these easy tips, you and your family can show love and brighten someone’s Valentine’s Day.
1. Bake and decorate cookies to give away
It’s time to get cooking! Invite your kids to the kitchen to help decorate heart-shaped cookies. Then head out to hand deliver them to elderly or those in your nearby nursing home.
2. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru
Surprise the family behind you by paying for their order. Pull slightly forward or park nearby so the kids can watch the expressions on the faces of the recipients as they hear the good news.
3. Send a card in the mail with a thoughtful note to someone you haven’t seen in a while
Get out the construction paper, scissors, glitter, and glue - or print templates of coloring pages. Then have your kids address the cards and go with you to drop them off at the Post Office.
4. Leave a generous tip with a note of thanks
Next time the family dines out, take the time to show your kids how to figure out a tip on your phone calculator. Then tell them you’re going to tip even bigger to show love. Let them be part of placing the tip on the table with a Valentine’s card they’ve made.
5. Take a friend homemade dinner
Call or text a friend who has been busy or stressed and tell them you’d like to make dinner for their family. On the appointed day, have your kids help prepare the menu items and select the dessert. If they are able, have them help deliver the meal.
6. Give a thoughtful note or gift card to your child’s teacher
Ask your children questions about what they like about their teacher, their favorite subjects, their best day in class, or most fun field trip. Then write a note telling your child’s teacher about the impact they are making. Be sure to include a small gift card for their favorite eatery.
7. Take treats with handwritten thank you notes to the police station or fire department
Show love to those who work around the clock to protect your family. Have your children draw pictures or pick baked goods and snacks to take to your local heroes. Be sure to deliver them with smiles and kid-sized hugs.
8. Leave a 5-star review for a restaurant or shop you frequent on their Facebook page
Leave positive feedback for your favorite local small businesses. Rate them on Google, Yelp, or their Facebook page. A good review goes a long way and can brighten a busy business owner’s day.
9. Surprise a coworker by paying for their coffee or lunch
Do you know your officemate’s go-to drink? Leave a little early for work so you can grab their favorite coffee on the way. Or pack double the leftovers when you’re bringing your brown bag-lunch so you have plenty to share.
10. Take gently used toys to a nearby shelter or foster agency
Clean out your toy, movie, and game stash by having your kids pick items to give to those in need. Be sure to call ahead in case your local shelter or homeless ministry is in need of specific items.
11. Leave a surprise gift for your spouse or relative
Has your husband or wife been mentioning something they’d like to get or putting off a purchase? Surprise them by leaving a gift in the front seat of their car or on their desk at work. Get the kids involved by letting them pick something else to include.
12. Take flowers to an elderly neighbor
Visit your local florist and choose nearby elderly neighbors or ask your local church about homebound members that may need a visit. Take flowers and sit with them a while.
13. Brighten a stranger’s day by complimenting them
Lead by example and take the time to compliment your grocery store clerk or a fellow parent you meet at the local park. Then challenge your child to compliment someone.
14. Write positive messages with chalk on a public sidewalk
Get your young artist involved on a secret mission to leave positive messages on a sidewalk where they will be seen. Write phrases like “You are amazing,” “You can do it,” “You are beautiful” or other positive thoughts. Take it a set further and write similar messages on sticky notes and leave them throughout a store or in a public restroom.
Kennan is a wife and stay-at-home mom to Jaxson, Caden, and Emilyn. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and has many years of experience as a writer and photographer. She now uses her skills to run Marken Media Co.(), a company she owns with her husband Marcus.