The Family Valentine’s Celebration

Our family does the Valentine’s thing together as a whole family. For one thing, going out without our kids is usually disruptive to our weekly nighttime routine. For another, going out at all on V-day is usually cost-prohibitive unless we go to, you know, McDonald’s (and if you know me at all you’d know I don’t dislike that idea one bit; however, it doesn’t sound very Valentinesy, does it?).

But for still another, finding a babysitter? Usually out of the question. And then there’s this other: I consider Valentine’s day to be a kid-holiday more than anything, so it wouldn’t really be that much fun if our evening observance of the day didn’t include a fair amount of construction paper and glue. But that’s just me.

Anyway, so here’s what we’ve settled on as tradition for our family. We don’t really do anything much until dinnertime. That’s when I pull out the big guns: my very own personal roll of table-width butcher paper. We roll off a section that will, of course, cover the table and then the girls go to work decorating it all up. They sometimes use stamps, or markers, or doily things, whatever strikes them at the time as pretty and fun. I don’t swoop in with any art direction, just let them do it. This celebrates our love for creating.

Next, I sprinkle pastel colored skittles on the table like confetti. This celebrates our love for candy.

By each person’s plate I put a brand new book that I think they are going to absolutely love. This celebrates our love for reading.

Then there is one wrapped gift I use as the centerpiece of the table. It’s always a game. The girls open it after dinner and we play it that night. This is to celebrate our love for doing things together.

This year I’m having everyone write notes to everyone else in the family saying one thing they really love about that person. This celebrates our love for each other.

And that’s it. It’s simple, it’s low-stress, and most importantly, it keeps this family of introverts inside on one of the biggest extrovert nights of the year. And we love that.