Because Valentine’s Day is all about love, it gives you the perfect opportunity to create more love in your family—not only between parent and child, but between siblings. Here are some simple ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day, to help everyone remember that even if you’re too busy, and maybe even too stressed you really adore these people you live with.
Start of the Day
Get up a few minutes early so you can enjoy opening Valentines at breakfast. Be sure to include something heart-shaped or sweet to eat. Serve the family heart-shaped pancakes; add some red food coloring to them or the syrup. Make heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch, and consider planing dinner entrees that are red.
Plan a unique scavenger hunt with the kids. Help the children make and hide clues, taping a small chocolate kiss on each one. Have meaningful gifts at the end of the hunt. Possibilities include handwritten notes of love and appreciation, personal certificates of service (washing car, clean out the garage, cook dinner, etc.), drawings, and homemade treats. To make the scavenger hunt extra special, end your time with a family trip to a family restaurant or venue.
Tell your children how you celebrated Valentine’s Day as a child. Then have the kids call or visit their grandparents to see how they celebrated it. Talk about ways that Valentine traditions have not only changed, but also remained the same.
Spread the Love
Your kids can make very simple Valentines for their class and others. Just cut out hearts or print them out. Your child can color and decorate and elaborate as much or little as he or she wants. They, and you, can pass out others they’ve made as everyone goes through their day. You’ll be amazed whose day can be brightened: the letter carrier, the restaurant server, the grocer, coworkers, and neighbors. You might even just want to leave anonymous valentines at your neighbors’ doors.
Alternate gift ideas
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be nothing but candy, hearts, and flowers. Here are some additional ideas:
- A letter of appreciation. Even a short note to a coworker, friend, or family member can be meaningful. The best gift of all is always a simple letter to your loved ones detailing how grateful you are to have them in your life. Be as specific as possible: “The way you let me sleep in the morning while you make the kids breakfast” or “The way you sing off key” are even more satisfying than “You’re lovable,” because the recipient feels seen and appreciated. Don’t worry if it isn’t eloquent. Any heartfelt love letter will be cherished by the recipient much more than a store-bought gift. This isn’t only for your adults; kids feel loved when we notice who they are and what they contribute to us, our family, and the world. Your kids will reread your letters during tough times—and they’ll possibly save them for the rest of their lives.
- Homemade Valentines. Kids feel loved when we spend time making something for them, rather than buying it. Why not make Valentines? This can be as simple as 15 minutes with red construction paper, scissors, and markers, or as elaborate as a joyful, creative family project for hours. If you have young children, stick to the simplest: construction paper hearts with a heartfelt message detailing something you appreciate about the recipient.
- A “gift certificate” for a backrub or foot massage every night for a month. Kids feel loved when we listen to them and give them the opportunity to discuss their day. Spend 15 minutes with each child before bed. Not reading, that’s separate. This time is for just chatting or being a comforting presence. Most kids love a backrub and hand or foot rub. Darkness and impending lights out helps you connect.
We appreciate all of our customers, colleagues, and friends—and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day full of love of all kinds!