Today is my birthday. No, I don’t say that to solicit birthday wishes. Since the wee hours of the morning, I’ve been the happy target of more than enough warm regards, kind thoughts and prayers for happiness. My friends and family are the best cheerleaders a girl could ask for.

My family has a tradition that when it is someone’s birthday, at dinner, we go around the table and say something nice about them. Some years we’ve told jokes, but most years we get serious. These are times when those of us who normally aren’t so mushy tend to share the love we really feel. I remember the birthday my father had after his stint in the hospital when my turn was full of tears and me sharing how happy I was that he was still with us. It’s our special time and I carry this tradition on with my friends.

All this got me thinking about kind words and how important it is that we say them and hear them. It’s so easy to criticize. We have lots of words for that, but how many different ways do we tell someone that we love them? A simple “I appreciate you” can go a long, long way.

So let’s not wait for a special occasion. Take some time today to reach out to a friend, family member, spouse or even a co-worker. Tell them how much they mean to you. I bet you’ve got the words they really need to hear.

One kind word can warm three winter months.- Chinese Proverb

Need some help? Read: 21 Simple Ways to Say I Love You

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