Valentine’s Day has been hijacked! Moms, remember when Valentine’s Day was a ROMANTIC holiday? You know, before you had kids? You’d get flowers, you’d dress up to look super hot (in my case maybe semi-hot), and enjoy a candlelit dinner. Now that we have kids, Valentine’s Day has become a Family Holiday. It’s more about which character to choose for the tiny little Valentine’s for everyone in the kids’ class, throwing love notes in my daughter’s school lunch box, watching the cats eat the flowers, and begging my son to leave some chocolate for the rest of us.
But, you know what? That’s fine with me. After all, our kids are the result of our hot romance and proof of our love. So instead of getting a babysitter and going out to dinner, we like to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family and we have fun doing little things for each other all week that say “I Love You.” I hope these ideas inspire you to do the same today and throughout the rest of the year. Why should all the fun be just on Valentine’s Day, right?
1. Have a heart. You can have so much fun with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I surprised my daughter by cutting out heart into her peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich for her school lunch. I cut a small heart shape into one slice of the bread so you could see the red jelly. You can also make French Toast and cut the bread into heart shapes and throw some cut strawberries on top for color. Or, spread a thick layer of whipped cream out on a cookie sheet, freeze it and then cut heart shapes out while frozen. Drop that creamy heart in a mug of hot chocolate for some fun! Here are some other things you can do with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
2. Turn dinner upside down. Let the kids eat dessert first on Valentine’s Day. Anything that breaks routine is big fun for kids.
3. The Power of a Flower. My daughter gets 1 rose from her Dad, which puts the biggest smile on her face. Read my post about the Power of a Flower for your little girl.
4. A Night Out, at Home. Can’t find a babysitter for Valentine’s Day this year? No problem. Read about how you can still have a special night at home with the kids by cooking together dinner and having the kids serve you as waiters with a romantic, candle lit feast. Read how to make it happen.
5. A Sweet Treat. We like to try out a new dessert recipe every Valentine’s Day since my family seems to be obsessed with sweets. This year we made Valentine’s Day Brownies, Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Strawberry Pound Cake Hearts.
6. Deliver the Love. Leave love notes for your kids (or spouse) around the house.* I like to tape a Hershey’s kiss or some other candy to a small index card or left-over class Valentine’s Day cards and hide them around the house for the kids to find. *Handy Tip: Write down where you hid them all so you don’t get ants in your family room a few weeks from now.
7. It’s A Date. Give your child a coupon for a date night. Do something special just with them and get it on the calendar now so they can look forward to their special time with you. Here are 5 Ideas for Date Night with your Child.
8. Let’s Do Lunch. Surprise them by showing up at school and taking them out for lunch on Valentine’s Day. (Call ahead to let the school and teacher know!)
9. Rub Them the Right Way. Give your family a massage on their hands or a back rub. I started doing this one day in Church when the kids were getting restless and now they ask for it all the time. I love it when I get a massage during a manicure so I figure they would love it just as much.
10. The Honey-Done List. Knock something off the Honey To-Do List. Just because we celebrate as a family doesn’t mean I forget my husband. My husband had been complaining that his dresser was out of control but he didn’t have time to clean it out. I surprised him by taking that little annoying chore off of his mental to-do list and he really appreciated it.
11. Balloons in the Bedroom. I saw this idea on Pinterest! Jenny at the Crossing the Bugger Dixon Line blog tied 8 love notes to 8 helium balloons and put them over their bed to surprise her husband. How cute is that? Check out how she did it. (The kids would love it too.)
12. Seeing Red. Be silly with your Valentine’s Day dinner and serve only red or pink food. Spaghetti with red sauce, red peppers, and chocolate fondue with strawberries, raspberries, and red grapes is a fun red menu. Here’s a super easy recipe for Chocolate Fondue.
13. Game On. Have your kids favorite game set up and ready to play when they come home from school on Valentine’s Day. You know the one they always want you to play that you never get around to playing? Today’s the day!
14. Invite Friends to Breakfast. My kids love when I get their toys and set them up at the table as if they were invited guests for the meal. We normally do this as a birthday tradition but Valentine’s Day is good, too. Star Wars guys and stuffed animals make a fun addition to any meal.
15. How do I love thee? For Valentine’s Day dinner, we like to play a game where we go around the table and say three things we love most about each other. It’s a great ego boost and forces you to say the little things that sometimes get lost and never said during the daily grind.
What small acts of love are you going to share with your family this Valentine’s Day?