Family Valentine’s Day
So, with Valentine’s Day behind us, and hopefully, you celebrated that special love with your spouse or significant other, consider starting a new tradition, I like to call Family Valentine’s Day on February 15th. This day would allow us to share the love with our children. Valentine’s Day reminds us to show everyone in our lives that we love them, why not extend it another day to include our children?
It’s great to take some time away from the kids and have a special Valentine’s Day celebration with our love. We need to do that. But, we could create a Family Valentine’s Day on February 15th. It would involve making Valentine’s Day cards for each family member, sharing a special meal that everyone enjoys, baking heart-shaped cookies and watching a movie with some delicious popcorn, and of course, chocolate!
I think by having this special day set aside to show your family that you love one another sets a model for your children to demonstrate love to others now and in the future. It doesn’t have to involve presents. In fact, I think it’s better if it doesn’t involve presents. Just love notes, especially the handmade kind. This shows love by spending time thinking about the person and creating something that we feel the other person would like. I always enjoyed creating crafts with my daughter. It’s great to get out the red paper and all kind of knicks knacks and glue and glitter and lace and put it all together to make something that expresses our feelings. For older children, they can write a few words, maybe just “I love you” or for the more creative types, they can try their hand at writing a poem. You could also make tissue paper flowers. You could use different colored tissue paper to create a nice bouquet. Put on some music to play in the background and sing fun songs together while you’re being creative. You could create a playlist with iTunes, Pandora or IHeartRadio. My daughter and I always enjoyed listening to soundtracks from Disney movies.
Then, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Let every child have a say in what they’d like for the special meal. It should be a kid-friendly meal like hot dogs or spaghetti or pizza so everyone can participate in the creation of the meal. I think some of our best family memories are made in the kitchen. Food is essential to life. So is family. This simple activity of planning, creating and serving food bonds us together. We enjoy the smells of the food while it’s cooking; the tactile sensations of the food as we prepare it (putting the hot dog buns on the plates, putting the pepperonis on the pizza, etc.); and the visual beauty of it on our plates. And making cookies is a favorite with kids! Rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies and icing and decorating them! You could do this activity earlier in the day, so they’re ready for later or do them while dinner is cooking. Of course, if everyone wanted to create a cookie for other family members, that’s a fun thing to exchange as well as cards.
After the meal, share your created Valentine’s cards with each other. Everyone hands out their cards to each family member. You could even create little boxes or envelopes for them to be placed in (like we used to in Elementary School, eons ago) and then go around the table allowing each person to open their cards and read them aloud. Everyone has a moment in the “sunshine” basking in the love they feel from each family member. Of course, thank each person specifically after they’ve read their card. This is an important part of life, expressing gratitude and thankfulness.
Now, on to the movie. Everyone should have a vote in the movie they’d like to watch. It could be a cute Disney Movie like Lady & The Tramp or more romantic like Beauty & the Beast or anything else everyone would enjoy. Love themes are a must but they don’t have to be mushy ones. After you’ve celebrated this once, you could even have a movie that becomes the Family Valentine’s Day movie ritual. Like at Christmas, we always have to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Pop some delicious popcorn, maybe simply with salt and butter, but you could create something special with drizzles or additional treats such as M&M’s or nuts. Of course, there has to be chocolate. There are all kinds of chocolates wrapped in red paper and heart shapes especially for Valentine’s. It’s fun to have these as part of your celebration. And enjoy your homemade heart-shaped cookies!
As the evening comes to a close, bask in the love your family has shared and know that you’ve helped paved the path for your children to express love to others in their future. This might even become your favorite holiday.
What do you think? Will you help to start a movement of Family Valentine’s Day for February 15th next year?