By Amanda Vallone, co-owner and founder of beARTrageous, an art studio in Southwest Minneapolis. Their mission is to offer programming for folks of all ages that connects people to themselves, their community, and the diversity of the world. They’ve been doing it for 6 years.
I know February brings the depths of winter cold but you can use this month to spread some warmth and love. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about store-bought cards, boxes of sweets or a bouquet of flowers.
Redefine its meaning by finding simple ways to show love, appreciation and affection toward the people that made/make a difference in your life. Expand your Valentine list and spread the love. Who are the friends that you can talk with about nothing? The boss that helped you out? The scheduler at the doctor’s office that always takes an extra minute to help? Who played a role in making you who you are today? Consider writing a simple card of thanks. Be an unexpected Valentine.
Certainly, don’t ignore your loved ones. It IS the thought that counts and so, when you set about tackling the list of your “usual suspects” consider individualizing your gift by sharing what you love most about them and acknowledging what they love most. Maybe tie your mom’s favorite flower around her favorite poem; take the time to call your Dad; give your daughter, the voracious reader, a copy of your favorite book from childhood.
The gift of time is always appreciated, so maybe spending the evening with your son watching a football game would be the best way to show him you care. And let’s not forget another awesome way of spreading the love: random acts of kindness. One of my favorite things that I’ve ever done with my kids is to buy $5 gift cards at Target and hide them in plain sight for people to find. We, each, took turns figuring out just how we wanted to hide them and then hid and watched and waited. It was wonderful fun and created the most gleeful reaction in the strangers and my children.
Lastly, be sure to put you on the list! Indulge in a candlelit bubble-bath, eat a few perfect morsels of chocolate, uncork a bottle of wine, whatever feeds your soul.
This year, at beARTrageous, we decided to offer a FULL WEEK of workshops, classes and pARTies that celebrate plain and simple LOVE. Adults, couples, families and kids. We have something for everyone. If you are interested in celebrating a sweet, heARTfelt month, join us for:
• card making
• canvas painting
• gift making
• pizza eating
• couples life planning
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Picasso. “Love is the greatest refreshment in life.”