Repurposing Valentine’s Day

Janiva Toler

Valentine’s Day is February 14, and I’ve been combing the card and candy aisles for weeks looking for just the right message or treat for friends, family, and colleagues. I’m a sucker for celebrating holidays. But not everyone enjoys the thought of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Many are tired of overpriced flowers and commercial junk that fill the stores, or the pressure to be with the “perfect” person on that particular day. Many choose to ignore the holiday, and some even celebrate “Anti” Valentine’s Day.

Maybe it is time for us to repurpose Valentine’s Day. Inspiring ideas have surfaced in recent years that can bring new meaning to the holiday. Here are some that I like:

  • “Rebooting” Valentine’s Day as Generosity Day –The focus of Generosity Day is practicing generosity with everyone you meet that day.
  • On a similar theme, Valentine’s Day occurs in the same week as Random Acts of Kindness Week, which inspires people to practice kindness and pass it on to others.
  • February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrated around the world—a national day where an entire country is challenged to do something kind to a friend or stranger for no reason at all.

While I really like the idea of Acts of Kindness, the word “random” includes a sense of hazard, chance, accident, or aimlessness. My understanding of kindness is that it springs from its link to divine Love.  Kindness is an expression of God — “God is known in loving kindness…” (Christian Science Hymnal # 76). So I like to think of Purposeful Acts of Kindness.

For repurposing Valentine’s Day, I suggest we celebrate Purposeful Acts of Kindness on behalf of Christian Science nursing during the week of February 13-19.

A few ideas for Purposeful Acts of Kindness

  • Donate your time at a local Christian Science facility the week of February 13–19.
    • Volunteer to adopt a garden or a flower box.
    • Read to a patient.
    • Take baked goods to the staff or Christian Science nurses at the facility.
  • Donate in-kind gifts to a Christian Science facility.
    • Check out their website — many facilities maintain a wish-list on their website of items they greatly need.
    • Subscriptions to the Christian Science periodicals are always appreciated.
  • Write a thank you note to a Christian Science nurse, Christian Science nursing facility, or visiting service. If you have experienced a healing with the support of Christian Science nursing, take the time to express gratitude for that healing by writing a note of gratitude, giving a testimony in church, or writing a testimony for the periodicals.
  • Donate directly to the facility or to the visiting Christian Science nursing service, or perhaps to the benevolence fund that helps those who are unable to pay for all or a portion of their care.

If everyone who has ever been blessed by (or known someone who has been blessed by) Christian Science nursing made a commitment to practice Purposeful Acts of Kindness – can you imagine what an outpouring of kindness there would be?

Join together February 13 – 19 in support of Christian Science nursing with an act of kindness.

Share your ideas for acts of kindness in the comment section below…

5 Responses to Repurposing Valentine’s Day

  1. Jan True says:

    Thank you, Janiva, for your thoughtful piece.
    How about sending love notes (not e-mails) to loved ones you haven’t seen in a long time. Or even to a fellow church member who hasn’t been to church in a while.

  2. Jane Martin says:

    Thanks, Janiva for these good ideas. “God is working his purpose out” and as each of us reflects His purpose and demonstrates it in our lives…the orderly, inspired acts will touch each one who comes into our experience…and this kindness, rich and full, heals!
    Gratitude and love to all of you at Chestnut Hill.

    • Janiva says:

      It’s so great hearing from you. And everyone at the BA says hi! It’s been so warm this winter sometimes we think we’re in the southwest.

  3. Becky Thatcher says:

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration! I like the idea of “purposeful acts of kindness”, and expect this will spread!

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