Every year as February approaches, people, scramble to pair up and proclaim their love, often in the flashiest ways. But Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. Instead use the holiday to celebrate family, close friends and others you care about. Create traditions to make Valentine’s Day less about romance and more about appreciation for the ones you love. Here are some Valentine’s Day ideas sure to get you thinking about how to make the day special.
Make Breakfast Together
Start the day off right by whipping up a delicious breakfast as a family. Take full advantage of Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year. Enjoy a leisurely meal together instead of rushing around to get ready for work and school. Plan ahead and assign each family member a responsibility. Ask your son scour the Internet to find the best pancake recipe. Order a crate of assorted citrus fruit and let your daughter make some fresh-squeezed juice. Your husband can take charge of the bacon, and you can set the table with festive decorations. By delegating the tasks, you minimize the pressure on any individual person, and the family can take pride in their part in making the day special.
Take a Hike
Is there anything more gorgeous than Mother Nature’s bounty? Get outside and enjoy Valentine’s Day as a family by taking a hike in the most picturesque spot nearby your house. Pack dried fruit and nuts for snacks, (try this assortment), or bring along a simple picnic lunch. Meander the trails and soak up the splendor that lies around you. Love is all around. You simply have to take the time to open your eyes and really enjoy it.
Rather than spoil one another with fancy gifts, take the day as an opportunity for your family to spread love throughout your community. Spend the morning volunteering at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. The experience will help you and your children understand how fortunate you are.
Visit a local nursing home or hospital and give handmade Valentines to the residents. Find out from the nursing home if there is someone who is lonely or could use a little extra attention. Have a bouquet of flowers delivered to his or her room, or bring the bouquet over as a family and take a few minutes to visit.
If your children have a few favorite games or toys, buy a few of each and bring them to your city’s children’s hospital. The kids who have to spend this special day in the hospital will appreciate the thought. Kids will also love to snuggle up with a plush new teddy bear. Devote a bit of your time to brighten others’ day. It can be a great reminder of how much love surrounds us.
Share Your Love Story
Life before kids — do you even remember that time? Break out the photo albums and take a walk down memory lane with the whole family. Prepare everything beforehand; include photos to illustrate your relationship, any sweet love notes or memorabilia (like movie or concert ticket stubs from dates, or newspaper clippings from the time period early in your relationship). Your kids will love to see the old photographs of you and your spouse in your younger days and imagine what life was like before they joined the family.