One of the first holidays you’ll get to celebrate with your family in the new year is Valentine’s Day, and it’s never too late to incorporate some Valentine’s Day traditions the family will love. While some disregard the day as a “Hallmark holiday” and refuse to participate, I see Valentine’s Day as a great opportunity to celebrate love, have some fun, and show some care and consideration to those in need.
By establishing some Valentine’s Day traditions with your family, you can find ways to make the day meaningful to you and your loved ones. Instead of a holiday to scoff at, transform it into a day your family looks forward to year after year. After all, why turn down an opportunity to make memories together?
If you’re looking for ways to make Valentine’s Day a little bit more meaningful for your family, here are a few Valentine’s Day traditions to incorporate into the day:
COUNT DOWN TO VALENTINE’S DAY.
Counting down the days until Valentine’s Day can help keep your family excited throughout the month. You could use a paper chain, an advent calendar, or a chalkboard to write out what day it is in the countdown leading up to February 14th. This also makes a great way to begin talking with your kids about what they can do on Valentine’s Day and how they can show love for their family members.
DECORATE YOUR HOME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY.
Put together some decorations that will make your home look festive for Valentine’s Day! String up banners and balloons, hang up garlands of streamers or hearts, set out cupid-inspired centerpieces, or drape heart-shaped banners from the ceiling. Every family member can chip in to make this fun and festive holiday even more special.
EXCHANGE YOUR OWN VALENTINES!
Instead of sharing Valentine’s Day cards bought from the store, challenge your family to make your own valentines for each other. Pick up some construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, and other crafting supplies and make it a family project, or give everyone time on their own to create something to show each member of your family how much they’re appreciated.
INDULGE IN A SWEET BREAKFAST.
While loading up on sugar isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to start your day, it’s one your little ones are sure to appreciate. Start your morning off on a sweet note by whipping up some strawberry pancakes, chocolate chip waffles, cinnamon rolls, or another sugary treat. If you really want to embrace the spirit of the day, pick up a heart-shaped pan or plate.
SHOW KINDNESS TO OTHERS.
A great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family is to show love and appreciation to others – even those you do not know. Consider assembling lunches or personal care packages to pass out to the homeless in your area, or tying scarves and gloves to trees with notes encouraging anyone in need to take one. You can also spend some time making cards for kids in hospitals or soldiers abroad, or volunteering in some other way in your community.
CHANNEL YOUR INNER WILLY WONKA.
Many people really associate Valentine’s Day with chocolates and sweets. For a fun way to embrace this theme, try making homemade chocolates, caramels, or other candies from the comfort of your kitchen. Plan ahead and pick up all of your supplies in advance – you’ll likely need a few ingredients you don’t typically keep on hand, as well as some molds to shape your finished products. Find tutorials and how-to videos on YouTube or step-by-step instructions on your favorite recipe website and follow along.
PLAN A FAMILY DATE NIGHT.
Instead of heading to your favorite candlelit restaurant, which is sure to be overbooked with couples on dinner dates, plan to visit your family’s favorite pizza spot, diner, or other casual establishments. Then, rent a movie to watch back at home, buy a brand new game to play together, or find a bowling alley or arcade that isn’t too busy for some family fun.
GO ON A FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT.
Capture your family’s love with a Valentine’s Day photoshoot! Dress up in your best reds, pinks, and whites or just wear comfy clothes to get the most natural shots. Huddle and cuddle up, and capture some great memories by snapping a few pictures of your family in the living room, under the blossoming cherry tree in the backyard, or near a cool mural downtown. You can even make props out of construction paper for the kids to hold.
BUILD A “LOVE FORT.”
Let your kids get creative on Valentine’s Day by building a “love fort” with pillows and blankets! Let them go wild while they decorate it with fairy lights, balloons, streamers, and whatever else they can find around the house – then settle down for some quality time together inside their cozy creation.
CREATE A “LOVE NOTE BOX.”
Encourage your family members to express their feelings for one another by creating a love note box. Decorate an old shoe box and fill it with construction paper cut into hearts, colored pencils, markers, crayons – whatever your little ones need to craft the perfect note. And remember, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers; it’s a day to express love and appreciation for everyone in your family, so encourage them to write notes not just to their parents or siblings but also to their uncles, aunts, grandparents, and any other loved ones they want to include.
Bonus: DONATE TIME OR MONEY TO A CHARITY.
If you want to give back this Valentine’s Day, consider donating either time or money to a charity of your family’s choice. This will not only show your children the importance of giving but also help them understand how privileged they are compared to others. You can look for volunteer opportunities near you or donate online – whatever works best for your family and schedule. Just don’t forget about the power of kindness when it comes to truly celebrating Valentine’s Day with loved ones. Showing appreciation and gratitude will always be the most cherished way to spend the holiday.
Incorporating these Valentine’s Day traditions into your family routine is sure to create special memories you and your little ones will cherish for years to come. From baking chocolates to creating love notes, these activities are sure to bring your family closer together and will help you create special memories with your children and show them what it truly means to celebrate Valentine’s Day—and guarantee a Valentine’s Day that you won’t soon forget! So, gather up your loved ones this February 14th for an unforgettable experience and have fun creating traditions that work best for your unique family!