Once Feb. 1 rolls around, the Valentine decorations abound. Hearts are everywhere in every color, especially red. There are vacation getaways advertised for "you and a loved one" and plenty of opportunities for special gifts. But if you really want to get away from the advertising and examples of what you should be doing for someone you love, ask a child the following question: What does love mean?

I posed this question to various local school-age children. I have collected their answers in this column, and I think they will make you smile.

“Love means you hug and kiss someone.” – Sophia, 8

“Love means you're happy.” – Reid, 4

“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him home all day.” – Mary, 4

“Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.” – Elaine, 5

“Love means sharing.” – Grace, 5

“Love means to care for someone, you help them when they're sick.” – Anna, 12

“Love is what's in the room at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” – Bobby, 7

“If you want to learn to love better you should start with a friend you hate.” – Nikki, 6

“Love is when you tell a boy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.” – Cindy, 9

“When you love someone you show them by hugging them.” – Ava, 5

“Love is when mommy sees daddy all sweaty and smelly and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.” – Chris, 7

“You really shouldn't say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it you should say it a lot. People forget.” – Jessica, 8

“Love means hugging.” – Diedy, 5

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” – Billy, 4

Well, it sounds like hugging is the number one way to show someone you love them. So give someone you love a hug today.

Then tell them you love them. “People forget.”

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