Valentine’s Day can be an uncomfortable day if your child attends school or other groups where Valentine’s messages are exchanged. Even as an adult, we’re bombarded with advertising that tells us what we should expect from Valentine’s Day. Ads for restaurants, florists, candy shops, car dealers and jewelers are in abundance. Many people put together a misconception of what love really is and how it is demonstrated. They feel disappointed by failed expectations.
Making our homes a loving place where everyone is assured of their importance is always priority. You can use Valentine’s Day to help you and your children to focus on special ways to demonstrate your love for each other.
Rather than focusing on just one day, I like to add a little celebration to the week. It’s nothing outlandish, just a bit of extra fun. A few decorations go up in our home in reds and pinks…including red hearts, a garland and some handcrafted items. Decorating sugar cookies is a favorite activity and other sweet treats are likely to be enjoyed over several days in the week.
When Valentines’ Day actually arrives, we’ll most likely set the table with special napkins, placemats (maybe homemade versions made by young crafty hands with paper, scissors and glue) and a special centerpiece. The center piece could be anything: a special dessert, a bouquet, an arrangement of pink and red things gathered from around the house, nature walk items collected from the outdoors, etc. I will also include candles, and if I can, lower the regular dining lights. Nice restaurants use candle light. Cafes will often add candles to their tables in the evening to elevate the mood. Kids love candles too, and adding them to the table helps to create a special atmosphere and elevate the whole dining experience. Dinner will be something special that everyone enjoys.
Sometimes we exchange handmade cards with those in our family. Sometimes each person makes a card for one other person, and we pass the cards around for each person to add their sentiments.
In our home, we recognize that God is love. Often times we do something that will turn our focus to the love He has for us, and the love we enjoy because of Him. In Psalm 119:11 the psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Here’s a fun activity that my children enjoyed as an enactment of that verse:
The children made their own paper “heart pockets”. These were two pieces of card-stock or construction paper cut into large heart shapes. I punched holes around the side and bottom edges of the hearts, leaving the rounded parts of the heart unpunched. The kids used red, pink or white yarn to stitch the two heart shapes together. They came up through a hole on the back, around the edge and up through the next hole until they had gone around the sides and bottom of the heart. The kids decorated their hearts and we hung them up in the house.
Then I gave each child scripture verses to memorize. Once they could say the verse from memory, they would get to put a slip of paper with the verse written out, or just the text, in their “heart”.
This is a great activity leading up to Valentine’s Day. Then on Valentine’s Day, the verses can be taken out and recited from memory. Of course, different verses or sized passages can be chosen based on ability levels of each child.
You can do some very simple things to make Valentine’s Day a special day for your whole family. Of course, not all plans turn out as expected. In my book, I’ll tell you about one of my most memorable Valentine’s weeks, and I didn’t have a chance to do any of these special extras with the family.