Share your affection with loved ones — or strangers — for Valentine’s Day, a reblog from Lauree Ostrofsky

John and I recently mailed our last batch of New Year’s cards, which we do instead of Christmas cards. Every pile of hand-addressed envelopes we dropped in the mailbox made my heart feel good, sending good wishes to some of our closest loved ones and some new friends.

So when I saw this call from my friend Lauree Ostrofsky to reclaim the elementary school practice of doling out Valentine’s Day cards generously, it spoke to me. Texts and emails and Facebook likes are all well and good, but a physical, tangible valentine, something you can hang on the fridge or pin up at your desk, is something else.

Lauree has traveled the country on her Hug Tour and she sees this as another way of encouraging people to get affectionate with one another.

With Lauree’s permission, I’m reblogging to encourage you to join her campaign. Head to your local card shop or discount store, pick up a package of valentines and spend a little time figuring out who you’ll give them to next week. John already got some supplies for us to make a few homemade valentines ourselves.

“You’re better than a Scooby snack.”

Valentine’s Day was fun in second grade. After recess, we all walked around the classroom handing out paper cards with Scooby Doo and Strawberry Shortcake on them, even to the mean boy who pulled my hair. By the end, every desk was covered.

Each had a silly joke or goofy phrase — “To someone berry special” — and on the back were names crookedly handwritten in pencil.

I would save mine to bring home; my book bag filled with white doilies, scratch-and-sniff hearts, and love.

I say we take back the holiday, and make it mean something again.

Last year I mailed and hand-delivered 300 valentines made by a friend’s adorable 4-year-old to friends, family and strangers around the world.

Eve the valentine artist

It was the paper embodiment of hugging. Showing someone that they matter, even if we didn’t know each other. So great.

This year, there are enough reasons out in the world, and in the news, for everyone to want to keep whatever they have to themselves and just hide. But they are the same reasons to do something about it. Love one another. If you were one of my valentines last year, or have been wanting to do something but not sure what, I could use your help.

Let’s turn my 300 valentines into our 3,000.

This Valentine’s Day, I need you to go on your own heart-shaped Hug Tour, delivering in-person hugs and mailing valentines to loved ones.

How you do this can look so many ways. It’s the sentiment behind your words and actions that count the most.

Ideas to get you started:

  • Host a valentine-making party with friends – wine, chocolate, and a bunch of art supplies.
  • Get the kids involved, either at home or with your local youth group, Montessori school, Scout troop.
  • Put a card in every mailbox in your neighborhood or condo building.
  • Show up early at the office so every desk has a card before staff arrive.
  • Send valentines to nursing homes and hospital floors (call them in advance). Delivering them in person is even better!
  • Send them to soldiers far from home.
  • Give cards to each person you pass during your day — dry cleaner, bus driver, barista.

When you do, I want to hear about it.

Please share photos of your loving adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and stories of what you did, how it felt and the response. Use hashtag #hugtour to share your experiences with me and others who are spreading the Valentine’s Day love.

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