Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentine's Day

I have sometimes thought that all of these little holidays can seem trite or pretentious if not just another excuse to sell Hallmark cards. But this year a good friend left a Valentines Day card and bag of goodies on my doorstep. It made me feel good to receive such a thoughtful token of kindness from a friend. After enjoying the chocolates, I thought about friends and family who had been on my mind. It seemed like a convenient time to send the cheery red & pink cards to friends I was thankful for who might be in need of a thoughtful act of kindness. When I received emails and cards saying what the card had meant, it made me feel good.

After the little heart holiday had passed, I realized that I had not gotten something for the friend that motivated me to send cards in the first place. I know that my friend would agree that simple acts of kindness are better passed on than returned. Holidays can be a great time to show an "attitude of gratitude" as researcher Martin Seligman describes one of the characteristics of happiness.

It's so easy to say thank you to people who have made a difference in your life by sending an eCard, a card, an email, posting a message to your blog, or just saying thank you.