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Give Heart Hugs for Valentine’s Day

            Only five more days to buy flowers, candy, cards and jewelry – all traditional Valentine’s Day gifts. 

I’m astounded by statistics shown on balancingeverything.com. In 2021, Americans spent $21.8 billion to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The average per person spending was $164.76; the average amount that men spent was over $200 and women spent much less.

            Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for florists, accounting for most of the industry’s fresh flower sales, according to proflowers.com. Last year in the United States, over $2.3 billion was spent on flowers.  The Greeting Card Association estimates that 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.

            While I appreciate purchased gifts, Heart Hugs, those times when heartstrings tighten, are perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day’s.  The people in my life give Heart Hugs to show their love all year round.

            Niece sent a text, just now, as I hold my fingers on my keyboard.  Her life is busy; she’s mom to two middle-school age boys and she teaches third-graders.  Yet, she sent words of joy, shared her plans for the weekend, and a thank you for loving her.  A few sentences, that’s all it took to give a Heart Hug.

            Son called.  “Hey, Momma.  How’s your day going?” Across the 1200 miles between us and no matter what we talk about, I feel his arms wrap around me.

            When Son’s 7-year-old daughter and I talked by phone, my heart (and head) filled with her chatter.  She told about her family’s recent vacation. “The supper buffet at the hotel was big!  More food that I’ve ever seen.  Some that Mom and Dad had never seen and it looked so pretty and good!”  I asked what she ate and she said, “Mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.”  She told about the slow hotel elevators and exactly where she and her brothers slept in their hotel room.  All details that made me smile.

             I hope Micah always greets me with the exuberance he does now as an eight-year-old.  I waited in my van in his family’s driveway for his older sister, to take her to my house. My Grand threw open the back door, stopped at the top of the concrete steps, spread his arms wide and shouted, “Gran!” Then he ran down the steps, in sock feet, and sat beside me to talk.

            Daughter and I sat across a restaurant table from each other – only the two of us. It doesn’t happen often so we know to treasure our conversations that range from books recently read to remembering times past to making plans to sharing funny stories and prayers for family members and friends.

            When my oldest teen-age Grand throws his arm over my shoulders, that’s love.  Husband’s bear hugs make every day happier.

            My favorite cards are hand-made – those are keepers to be read and reread.

            This Valentine’s Day give the flowers, the jewelry, the candy and cards.  And tighten someone’s heartstrings with Heart Hugs, memories to be relived and cherished, not just Valentine’s Day – every day.


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