February 14th is the day we celebrate love. Many a high schooler has been devastated when they have no special Valentine. Taking the time to put a different twist on the world’s perspective of Valentine’s Day for your children can take away the sting. Love has so many facets besides romance. Let’s celebrate all those we love.
Plan an activity each year that keeps the focus on caring for others and appreciating them rather than romance. Each family has a different dynamic, and how you celebrate the day will differ from family to family.
Let me suggest a few things to get your creative juices flowing in the right direction.
Plan a family dinner party
Use your best china and linen table cloth. Dress in your Sunday best. Decorate the table with flowers or candles, and place a personal note of love and appreciation at each place setting. You could have everyone draw a name in advance and prepare a secret admirer card or small gift that is unique to that individual. Let the meal be a variety of individual’s favorite foods. Invite grandparents or other family members to join you.
Create games to play
Homemade trivia games are lots of fun. Design a quiz that focuses on talents and traits of family members. See who can guess which person the question is referring to. Give points for correct answers and provide lots of hugs to the winner. Templates of various game shows are available online for you to modify. Making it interactive adds to the fun.
Valentine conversation candies are fun to use in word games. Here are some fun ideas.
- Give each player a number of candies face down. Using a timer from a game to keep the game moving. Each player has until the sand runs out to create a story from the words on the candy.
- Start a sentence that each player has to finish with one or more of their candies.
- Create coded messages with the silly sayings. Be Mine might mean under the table or Your Cute might be code for danger. The codes might give directions to a prize or reveal what other activities are afoot.
Take time to play games the family enjoys but often don’t take the time to play. It needn’t have a Valentine theme. Choosing a game that is a child’s favorite reinforces their specialness.
This is an opportunity not only to tell your children or grandchildren how you met but also when you first held them in your arms. Describe your emotions and reactions. Share moments when their little hugs made your sad day a better one.
Plan an act of service to teach your children that love is an action word.
- Help at soup kitchen or another organization that helps the less fortunate.
- Visit a shut-in and bring notes of encouragement.
- Walk the elderly neighbor’s dog. See if there may be a few other chores your family could help with.
- Babysit for a young couple so they can go out for the evening. Plan together fun activities for the children.
You get the idea. Plan something different that builds a memory and brings balance to the celebration of Valentine’s Day.