The Original Love Box™: The gift of love, one note at a time
Katie Hart Smith
Christine Martinello, creator of The Original Love Box™ is helping to give the gift of love, one note at a time.
The inspiration came to Martinello in 1999 when she was shopping for Christmas gifts; her three children were under five years of age. She was looking to buy Christmas presents that told her children how much they were loved. Later that night, she spoke with her husband, Bob, and the love note idea began to take shape. “On Christmas Eve, the family gathered to write or draw their notes to tell each other how much they are loved and appreciated. The Christmas Love Box was passed around to each family member and the love notes were read aloud,” recalled Martinello. “Seventeen years later, we continue to give and get the gift of love. We light candles, have plenty of chocolate handy, and we share what we love about each other. My son enjoys playing his trombone so he shares his love of music with us. It creates a force field of love; an incredibly strong bond is made. We laugh. We cry. It’s very powerful. We are teaching our kids how to express their love openly with one another. Christmas is so commercialized. This captures the true spirit of Christmas.”
Left: Bob and Christine Martinello inventors of the Original Love Box™
“In 2012, people heard about our family tradition through word of mouth and they came to me with ideas to expand The Love Box tradition. After prayer and meditation, we went into production the following year to create a product line that could be used for baby showers, corporate events, birthdays, and weddings.” The Martinello’s launched the Christmas Love Box in 2014. “In 2016, we developed and launched The Original Love Box kit for people to use for any life celebration. It includes the new keepsake Original Love Box, twenty love notes, and the Original Love Box book. Couples can write their own love story in the book. The pages are filled with inspirational love quotes from a variety of religions and even contain poetry written by my husband.”
On September 25, 2016, the Martinello’s will be hosting Love Notes Live!, an event to be held at Mocha Moes in Flowery Branch, Georgia. This is for families and friends to write love notes to each other and do the tradition together. Also, there will be a letter writing campaign to help spread the message of love targeting five non-profit organizations that include women’s shelters and mental health programs. “Our event coincides with National Love Note Day (September 26, 2016) and is family friendly and open to the public,” added Martinello.
“Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." – Mark 12:31 (NIV)
Martinello has seen the power of love in action to mend broken hearts in neighboring communities. “In June, we sent love boxes and 232 notes to the families of the Orlando night club tragedy. We partnered with Catholic Charities; the notes changed their lives. We saw photos of them displayed in frames in hospital rooms and the outreach via social media helped to spread love and allow communities to come together. With all of the darkness in the world, this is a calling. We are doing this for God,” said Martinello.
“In a recent survey I read, 40% of Americans feel lonely and they don’t have anyone in their life to express their true feelings to. In addition in the book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, people say, ‘I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.’” Martinello knows that sharing words of love can break through barriers to help create a legacy of love and a feeling of appreciation. Martinello concluded, “With the Original Love Box tradition, we can teach children and families how to love one another. With everything going on in the world, don’t you think it’s time to invest in each other and love?”
Martinello, the owner of Training Solutions International and busy mother of three children is an international speaker and author, sharing insights about leadership, loving life, and Momager® topics. Martinello is also the author of four books to include: The Momager® Guide: Empowering Moms to Leave A Loving Legacy; Atlanta’s Real Women; The Christmas Love Box Book; and The Original Love Box Book.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
For more information about The Original Love Box™, visit Facebook or their website at: originallovebox.com.
If individuals or companies would like to sponsor a Love Note event or have a ‘Love Booth’ at the 2016 Love Notes Live! event, please visit the website: www.tinyurl.com/LoveNotesLive2016.