Valentine’s Day is almost here. My mom always gave me Valentine’s Day cards and a small box of candy, so we give our kids cards and candy as well. However, it occurred to me that with classroom Valentine Day parties and the like, this starts to translate into a lot of candy. So this year I proposed a new tradition to the family: Let’s spend this day finding a new love!
My husband didn’t take to well to that suggestion until I further explained.
Our kids are getting older and finding new things they want to try, often without us. Let’s consider Valentine’s Day as a day to try a new experience as a family. If we love it, it’s something we can keep doing. If we don’t – well – we had some great family bonding time.
We came up with a list of new experiences to share together on this and future Valentine’s Days:
- Take a cooking, art, painting or pottery class
- Go to a museum, monument, historic site, zoo, or other cultural attraction we’ve never visited
- Pose for a family portrait at a photography studio, dressed silly or making funny faces
- Go to a drive-in movie, to a sports event, or to see a stand-up comedian (I suggested the theater to see an opera and was loudly vetoed)
- Another idea we discussed was that we should share the love and consider spending some time over Valentine’s Day weekend volunteer at a nursing home, food kitchen, or shelter. I admit, I fell in love with that idea.
I also want to shout out a great article I read on family Valentine activities from the folks at AhaParenting who suggest writing letters of appreciation to others and taking some time to give thanks for all the people who make your life special.
Experiences and memories last much longer than candy and cards, so consider finding new a new love for your family on Valentine’s Day.
Do you know the origins of Valentine’s Day? Customs such as sending valentine cards with pink hearts, ribbons, and lace have roots in a Roman festival called Lupercalia, held in the middle of February. During one part of the celebration, each young man drew a young woman’s name from an urn or bowl. The woman whose name he picked became the man’s companion at celebrations for the coming year. Find out more about this beloved (like what I did there?) custom with this article from Faces Magazine.
Cricket Media Mama didn’t actually plan this, but now she has a few boxes of chocolate that no longer have recipients since her family decided to find a new experience to love. Shucks. She’ll just have to take care of that little problem herself. Wouldn’t want them to go to waste, now would we?