(CollectiveAHA) Ahhh … February. The month of hearts and roses and love.
Would you like to begin some new family traditions this Valentine’s Day? Then the following ideas have been written just for you.
1.Love This Idea! — Starting Feb 1st til Valentine’s Day, put a new heart on your kids door with a reason why you love them!
This is such a simple idea, and easy to DO (bonus!), and it really packs a love punch! LOVE this!! Don’t do it just for your children, do it for your spouse/partner as well . If you have parents who live with you, do it for them too. We often take those who are closest to us for granted and don’t always show our appreciation for them. Here’s your opportunity too…especially if you aren’t good at expressing your feelings/appreciation verbally.
2. Fill a jar of sweet words.
Repurpose a jar that once held a sweet jam into a jar that holds sweet words for the family. You could have a theme for your jar – for example, “50 Reasons Why I Love Being Your Mama” or “20 Things Daddy Does That Make Me Smile.” These little love notes can be handwritten or printed out from the computer. Decorate the jar with tissue paper, magazine clippings, old calendar pages, and some decoupage.
Although this gift is presented on Valentine’s Day, it offers little words of affirmation for as long as the recipient wants to hold on to it!
3.Craft a box of memories.
Upcycle an old shoe box into a box of favorite family memories. Encourage family members to write these memories down and contribute other sorts of memorabilia as well. Children from preschool age on up can contribute the memories that mean the most to them, and they never tire of hearing stories from when they were babies and toddlers.
Make plans to spend time together on Valentine’s Day going through the box and discussing some of the best times you have shared as a family.
4.Create a coupon book.
Although some adults might find the idea of a coupon book to be a little bit trite, kids often see it as a fun and valuable way to enjoy some favorite activities. Parents can present coupon books to kids and vice versa, or everyone in the family could draw names and create a custom coupon book for the family member they selected.
Of course, children will always look forward to the candy-eating festivities that normally accompany Valentine’s Day, but how often is a heart-shaped lollipop really memorable? Memories are guaranteed when a child redeems a coupon for “one day spent with Dad at the ball park.”
5.Write an emotions book.
All of this talk about love makes an excellent jumping off point for talking about all kinds of feelings.Filling in the pages offers valuable talk time as you get to know each other a little better by exploring feelings.
6. Enjoy a scrapbook day.
Start a new family tradition centered around photographs from the previous year. It doesn’t matter if your family’s picture archives are as simple as traditional, plastic-sleeved photo albums or as elaborate as professional-quality scrapbooks; what’s important is taking time to stay up-to-date on your preserving family memories. What better day than Valentine’s Day to look back on the ways your family loved each other in the previous year?
7. Plant a seed.
A few years ago, a eco-minded friend of mine shared the idea of replacing candy and flowers with seed packets. We all love to receive blooming bouquets, but there is something special about giving a gift that invites participation from the recipient.
For my daughter’s first Valentine’s Day party at school, she will be giving little envelopes containing seeds of her favorite flowers – sunflowers. We were delighted when our sunflowers bloomed last summer, and we hope the families in our community who receive these seeds will enjoy the simple rewards of an amazing display of nature’s beauty.
8. Express gratitude.
There are so many people in our communities who quietly do their jobs so that our lives are a little easier. Valentine’s Day is a great day to take homemade cookies to civil servants, librarians, police officers, fire men, members of the clergy, and others who don’t often receive the recognition the deserve.
Let’s show our children that Valentine’s Day can be about expressing gratitude, not all about what they have received.
In what unique and meaningful ways does your family celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Do you have some time-honored traditions for this holiday you can share?