The true meaning of Valentine's Day is to celebrate love, friendship, and family in any way you choose. My husband and I have never been big on Valentine’s Day gifts or flowers (I bow down to those willing to shell out a day’s worth of pay on a bundle of cut flowers), but we do like to take the time to talk about our marriage, our relationship with our children, and our children’s relationship with one another. We like to spend the day (or evening) doing something we all love, whatever that may be each year.
Our oldest, Scarlett (8 years old) loves Valentine’s Day. She loves pink and hearts and everything sparkling. The past few years, we have handed the day over to her. We travel to the party store on February 13th
and give her a specific dollar amount ($30 or so) to go crazy with; and she does not disappoint. This girl fills the house with helium heart balloons, sparkling hearts on every wall and table, table cloths, streamers, and boas for everyone to wear. Our house tends to look like Cupid threw up everywhere, and we love it.
While Scarlett is in charge of the décor, Emmett (6 years old) is in charge of deciding the menu, including dessert. He feels ridiculously special when I let him choose the food. I take him to the store and let him pick chocolate for everyone, and we buy all the ingredients to whatever fancy meal he is desiring. Last year, it was heart-shaped pizza and chocolate covered strawberries.
Lyle, age 4, also gets to pick a dessert!
These few things have become our “tradition” for this day full of love, but I’ve been thinking about a few other things to start including on Valentine’s Day. I’m listing them out more as ideas; in hopes that they may inspire you to center the day around what is really important: your family.
Valentine's Day Ideas
Skip the Fancy Dinner and Babysitter
Steal our homemade pizza tradition! We like to roll the dough out and shape it into a big heart! Cheesy? You bet ya! But our kids are going to remember it forever. The kids can help with toppings. You can make the dough ahead of time and pull it out just before dinner. We love to turn music on, pour wine, and just enjoy our family all in the kitchen together. Save your babysitter money (and restaurant money) and do something as a family with it! Or just save it!
(My Pizza Dough Recipe: Mix 1 cup hot water with 1 tbsp yeast and 1 tbsp olive oil. After it is mixed well, add in 3 cups of flour, a sprinkle of salt, and a sprinkle of sugar. Let the dough hook do its thing and mix until the dough looks perfect. You can add flour if its sticky or water if it’s not combining well. Once it’s ready, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise at least an hour. DONE!)
You can get as creative as you would like with this. You can print something from the computer and add personal touches, break out the glitter glue, make a huge mess, whatever! You can set supplies on a table and let everyone take what they would like and go to separate spaces to create their cards.
Purchase Flowers that can be planted!
(What a foreign concept anymore)
Skip spending a fortune on a bouquet and plant seeds, or bring home a house plant, or a plant that will benefit the family! Start an herb garden perhaps.
Work on a Something Together
Build (or paint) a birdhouse. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, just do it together. Even toddlers can have a job and be involved.
A Family Blessing
Give thanks for your family and ask each family member to give an example of something special about each other family member. “My brother is helpful and I love that he always holds the door for me!”
Leave Love Notes on Their Doors
I saw this on pinterest, but it was a super mom who had the time to stick heart notes on her children’s door EVERY.DAY of February about why she loved them. I don’t have time for that, but if you do – go for it! I’m thinking more along the lines of decorating the door and taping a few love notes with special things written on them. “Be brave and Strong. Chase Your Dreams.” “Kindness always Wins.”
Follow Cupid’s Arrows
A treasure hunt to find their treat! This would take a little planning, but kids would LOVE it! Cut out arrows from construction paper and tape them around the house with clues. The kids have to figure out the clues to get to their Valentine’s Day treat! (Our treat is normally just some chocolate – we are not huge gift givers on this holiday!)
Let the Kids Pick an Activity
This year valentine’s day is on a weekend, so an afternoon activity will fit just fine! Playground time, a family hike, anything!
Read a book or poem about love, friendship, or family.
The internet is your friend. If you don’t own a book that will work, let google be your guide!
Learn about Valentine’s Day
Talk about how Valentine’s Day began... Learn More
Something Sweet of course! You can support a local bakery or make something yourself, but a dessert is a MUST!