I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day…even when I didn’t have a “valentine.” Maybe it’s because my parents always made Valentine’s Day a little extra special while I was growing up. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for love songs. Maybe it’s because I like thinking about the people who mean the most to me. But it’s probably because the Valentine season is when the stores start selling those cinnamon hearts and I can buy a bag…or ten.
At any rate, I love Valentine’s Day! Here are some fun suggestions to put a little spark into your celebration this year!
Flowers and chocolates are always nice, but let’s face it: flowers die and chocolates are eaten and then they’re gone. Memories, however, last on and on, and the experiences that build those memories are building your relationship. If you’re in a rut, why not try some new, creative ideas?
1- Reenact your first date:
Where did you go? What did you eat?
Recreating those first moments of your relationship will remind you of how—and why—you fell in love in the first place.
2- Have a staycation:
(This is one of my husband and my favorite dates!) Send the kids to another location and have a romantic evening at home, just the two of you. Get takeout and eat in front of the fire—or you could even camp out in your living room with a tent, make some s’mores, and share sweet memories (and even sweeter kisses)! Set up a few candles if you don’t have a fireplace.
3- Take a walk:
Seriously, don’t underestimate the romantic nature of walking together, hand in hand—it’s invigorating and free of distractions so you can really connect.
Bundle up, if you live in a cold climate, and come home to mugs of steaming hot chocolate.
4- Make it musical:
At the risk of sounding old…I come from the era of cassette tapes. And, back in the day, nothing was better than getting a love song mix tape from that special someone! And although the cassette tape is no more, music remains powerfully connected to our emotions and memories. So make a playlist of meaningful songs that you and your valentine can enjoy together.
5- Let loose your inner masseuse:
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to give—and receive—epic massages. (And if you don’t know how…well, that’s what books and YouTube are for!)
Get some oils, light some candles, put on some music and send your sweetheart to a blissful state!
True confession time: my husband and I actually celebrate Valentine’s Day on another day…not on February 14th. It’s easier, you see, to find babysitters on a different day, so that’s when we get all romantic. On February 14th, we celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family—and here are some of our favorite traditions:
1- Heart pancake breakfast:
The kids usually wake up to pink heart pancakes on Valentine’s Day, which is special not only because they’re hearts…
but because I actually made breakfast that day instead of shoving a bowl of cold cereal at them and telling them to eat it as fast as they can or they’ll be late for school. (Which may or may not happen almost every other day of the year, but I digress.)
2- Homemade valentines:
The very best presents are homemade—our awkward, artistic attempts to show how we feel through stickers and stamps, crayons and construction paper.
However it’s packaged and put together, let’s express our feelings to our family and not just assume they know how much we love them!
3- Family candlelight dinner:
Every Valentine’s Day, I try to make something a little extra special for dinner—
it’s usually some sort of pasta dish—and we eat it on our very best china, with candles on the table and grape juice in our goblets. It’s one of our favorite traditions!
4- Hold a family dance:
Our other favorite family tradition, right after the aforementioned candlelight dinner, is having a family dance. We hold this in our basement, which is decorated with hearts and streamers from the dollar store. We even hang flashlights from the ceiling for “mood” lighting and have refreshments! A special playlist provides music for the occasion and the four of us dance the night away—everything from YMCA and the chicken dance to cha-chas and romantic slow songs. This family dance hardly costs a thing but has become one of the highlights of our year—the kids have a really hard time stopping, “Just one more song!”
5- Look for the lonely:
Even though Valentine’s Day can be super fun…it can also be a very painful holiday for some. Every year, we try to think of someone who might be having an extra lonely time and we leave something on their doorstep—a note, a flower, something—so they know that they are loved on Valentine’s Day. One of our favorite things to leave is a plate of homemade Valentine's Day cookies. The great thing about this activity is that you get to spend precious time with your kiddoes making the cookies, and you get the gratification of helping others!
I hope some of these ideas will inspire you to fall in love with Valentine’s Day this year! After all, love is the very best reason to celebrate, and click this link if you need help finding some unique Valentine's Day gifts.