When I was a kid, coming downstairs on Valentine’s Day morning was always exciting! Mom and Dad, as well as each sister, would put a valentine at our spots on the table, and there was always a small box of chocolates. In fact, to this day my mother still buys a box of chocolates for every single one of her kids and grandkids (a palette of chocolate basically) and sends them across town, as well as across the country. I grew up celebrating Valentine’s Day to the fullest!
The first Valentine’s Day I spent with my husband I found out quickly that he does not celebrate the day – believing (with a bit of disdain and eye-rolling) that it’s a “Hallmark Holiday.” Well, you couldn’t find two more opposing opinions! I still send each of my siblings a little paper valentine every year, and dole out treats to any and all of the people in my life. Our life together evolved, and our son came along, and now 14 years later I still put out candies and presents, knowing my husband won’t have the same on the table for me – because I’ve learned he’ll show his love in other ways (usually ones that involve good food!), which makes it all the more special, because he’s not doing it because he “has to.”
It’s important that we express our love in our own unique ways, as our children are viewing our relationships as a template for their own one day. Valentine’s Day could be a great opportunity, depending on how old your child is, to discuss the Love Languages, and how everyone gives and receives love differently. There are so many holidays where we show our kids the act of giving, this is one we can show them that there’s more than one way to do that.
Here are some ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day, in the different love languages:
-Send valentines! Everyone loves getting mail and it’s the perfect chance to make someone in your life smile.
-Make a heart shaped card, or cookies, for a neighbor or friend.
-Have a small present waiting on the table Valentine’s morning, wrapped in white, pink or red. I always do a book and some little toy for my son, as well as a present for my husband, usually something as simple as a bag of unique coffee or a book.
-Give candy. Chocolate is frequently a winner in my book!
-Give flowers – Yes, they are the cliche go to, but even just a single flower at everyone’s spot at the table can brighten their day!
Words of Affirmation
-Write out things you love about your kid and tape them to their door
Acts of Service
-Have breakfast treats: Dunkin has heart shaped donuts, or you can make cinnamon buns unrolled and re-rolled to look like hearts
-Do something from the family ‘to-do’ list that everyone’s been putting off – it could be something as small as fixing a hole that’s been bugging your husband, or having your child clean the bathroom.
-Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie together
-Make a “Car Massage” shirt. We made one for my husband by drawing a road on the back of a white t-shirt, and my son ‘drives’ his matchbox cars all over. It makes a great gift for the kids to give, and the receiver gets a massage!
-Have a special game night with cocoa and heart marshmallows
-Create a heart hunt – cut out paper hearts together, and then hide them around the house for a fun scavenger hunt
-Do a craft, or paint together. Don’t underestimate the simple act of coloring construction paper hearts and sticking them to the wall!
However you choose to celebrate, Valentine’s Day can be the perfect moment to not only teach your children, but also to show the people around you a little love, with whichever language works for you!
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