Making Valentine’s Day Special as a Family
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, our culture provides romance for couples and school parties for kids, but there’s much less of a push for family time. Around our house, we love Valentine’s Day! The romantic side of me has always been a sucker for flowers, candy and candlelight, but having children certainly changed how we celebrated. On my oldest child’s first Valentine’s Day, it just couldn’t work for my husband and I to have dinner out somewhere. Instead of just feeling lame, I decided to make the best of it and we had a fancy dinner at home, complete with proper dress, sparkling cider and good china. We had a great time!
The next year and every year since, we have continued the tradition with the kids. Just like taking your kids on dates long before they are old enough to go on their own, we accidentally discovered a great proving ground for things like manners, fancy dress and making things at home just as special as at a restaurant.My hope is that as they get older no matter their valentine status, this dinner will be something to look forward to. One year we roasted smores in our fire pit on the back porch. Another year, the kids and I made a special dessert together. My favorite memory is the year they heard me say, “Go get dressed up for dinner” and came back as a princess and a cowboy! Whether it was fancy clothes or costumes, it always creates a sense of excitement and importance for everybody. Since then we’ve left the interpretation of dressing up wide open. It has turned into this really special family event that everyone – including my husband – really enjoys.
One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the time and opportunity we have to build up our family identity through how we spend our time, including the way we celebrate holidays. As we work hard to prepare our kids for real life, who they are in our family and what they learn is one of the most important gifts we can give them. All the hard conversations we will face are likely made a little bit easier by the years of special, quality time spent together. Like all traditions, it often doesn’t really matter what they are as much as that they bring your family joy and they are perpetuated somehow. Maybe cooking or fancy dinners aren’t your thing. Don’t let someone else’s tradition intimidate you into not trying at all. Scavenger hunts or a special game night can turn into something your family will remember long after you are gone. One of my favorite bookmarks is a hand-colored, homemade valentine from my mom that she made for me after I was married. A special outing or crafty gift or maybe starting a new read-aloud book together – anything that is done with intention can make your family feel special.
Amy Butler is a disciple of Christ, the wife of an engineer, mother of three, part time piano teacher and a lover of nature. Writing is where all of her passions come together as she struggles to find the WRITE Balance.