What does your family do for Valentine’s Day? Growing up my dad always got my mom a big heart-shaped box of chocolates, and me a smaller version. In our household, I keep the tradition alive, and put out small store bought, 99 cent, heart-shaped boxes for my daughter and sons on Valentine’s morning.
Other than candy, I try to do something fun and loving each year with my kiddos. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. I think it’s more about creating memories of time together.
When they were in preschool and kindergarten, we made heart shaped window catchers to fill up our kitchen nook windows. A simple craft of placing shavings old crayons between waxed paper and ironing on low heat makes a cool swirling effect. Afterwards we cut them into heart shapes and hung them on thread. The sun streaming through them make some cold, winter mornings more bearable in February.
As they grow older, we have baked together. I loved linzer tarts and the raspberry filling fills the prerequisite Valentine’s Day red. We made our linzer tarts like a bar cookie, and then cut out heart using a cookie cutter and dough scraps. The kids got to choose to bring these to adults in their lives that they feel make them feel special. One year all of our doormen, and local crossing guard were the lucky recipients.
Last year, I went simple. To be honest, I was tired and burnt out. So on the evening of February 13th I cut out simple construction paper hearts and wrote simple love notes to my kids and taped them to their doors. For my son, I wrote how much I admired his tenacity. His ability to try his hardest against challenges whether in school or on the playing field is admirable. And he always does it with a great sense of humor and hope. Sneakily, as a writer mom I couldn’t resist the urge to put out some flashy vocabulary. The kids love them. A year later, the hearts remain on their bedroom doors. And surprisingly they loved that I gave them new words to describe their strengths.
It was so well received that I think I’m going to do it again this year.
Some other sweet ideas you may want to consider doing with your family for Valentine’s Day
– Plan a romantic movie night for the family. Plan a spaghetti and meatball dinner and rent Lady & the Tramp. Break out the candles. My kids feel like the dinner is special if we light up tapers, and beg for the the jobs of lighting and blowing them out.
– Take some sweet selfies to send to grandmas and grandpas. Find a spot in your community that has lots of reds and pinks, like the local florist, bakery or candy store. Send some low calorie, but very sweet photo treats.
– Make homemade valentines and deliver them to the residents of a local nursing home. Everyone loves a visit and a smile.
– Dance parties are big in our house since the kids were toddlers. The songs and dances have changed, but everyone ends the party the same way in a sweaty, pile of giggles. Tell Alexa to choose your favorite dance tunes through the decades and let everyone dance it out together on Valentine’s Day.