Have you ever stopped into a florist to buy a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day? More often than not, the prices are triple what you’d pay on any ordinary day, and the selection by the day-of is pretty slim pickins. So instead of going with the usual bouquet and card, step out of the box and give a gift from the heart.

What does that entail? Is it a new shirt or tie for that well-dressed guy or a beautiful platter for the home cook? A gift from the heart goes much deeper than that. In fact, it’s not something tangible at all. This Valentine’s Day—and every other day of the calendar year—try to give yourself and those around you the gift of you. Give your time, your attention, your kindness, your appreciation, your patience, and your love. Spend time playing cards with your child or initiate a game of catch. Make a delicious dinner that the whole family can enjoy. And then sit together (phone-free) and actually enjoy it. Those things mean more than flowers or any gift that can be bought in a store.

All too often, we are kind to strangers and tough on those we love—and we’re usually even harder on ourselves. Those closest to us—including ourselves—deserve the best of who we are. Wake up each morning and smile to yourself in the mirror. Say to your children, “This is going to be a great day.” Be appreciative of your own efforts and the efforts of people around you. Go out of your way to make or do something meaningful for someone you love. It will all be worth it. Spreading that extra dose of kindness will bring kindness back to you in return. And isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about? After all, this is the day of love.

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