Family Fun On Valentine's Day
We would start with the decorations that we would put up the night before. Usually it would be pretty simple: Some balloons, with or without helium, a red tablecloth, and some decorative plates and napkins. We would have a small treat for them sitting on the table, whether it was candy or some toy or stuffed animal. They knew that when they came down for breakfast their things would be waiting for them. Setting the stage really helps to get everyone in the festive mood.
Then once the kids woke up, we would dress in a red outfit. They would come down to their places and discover their gifts while I would make heart shaped pancakes for them to eat. Some years I also added red food coloring to the mix so they would be pink, They liked them either way. Once we had breakfast we would have to have a photo session (because Mommy scrapbooked a lot back in those days).
Some years we would plan special activities, like Moms Day Out parties where we would take Valentine cards for our friends. Some years we would just stay in and decorate cookies. Lunchtime would usually be a sandwich cut in a heart shape with some red fruit snacks and perhaps Koolaid to drink (high fructose corn syrup haters plug your ears!) and an apple to offset the sugar.
But Dinnertime was usually the big show! Once Daddy got home the festivities would really begin. (and btw, some years the festivities didn't even start until dinnertime because Momma didn't always have it together. Be nice to yourself and don't beat yourself up if you just are able to acknowledge your babies with a hug and an IOU for the time.) We would set the table with all the best china and wine glasses that we had, keeping the red tablecloth. We would fill the glasses with Koolaid or Crystal Light red drink. Any special gifts or decor would be used to celebrate the moment. For dinner, we would have something red. Some years we would do spaghetti and other years pizza. If you have a Papa Johns in your area, they offer a heart shaped pizza as a special fun treat. We would spend a special time of prayer thanking God for our family and each other as we laughed and giggled at the funny jokes and conversation that only little ones can give.
After dinner, we would clear the table and spend some time writing special "notes of love" to each other. I would prepare some heart shaped paper in advance and every person would get one for each family member. They would write (or draw pictures before they learned to write) to each person a reason that they loved them. Once done, we would hand them all in and Daddy or Mommy would read them out loud. They loved hearing the nice things that their siblings would say and it was a special treat for me also. Once all the cards were read, I would collect them, write who wrote it and who it was to, and keep them in a special place to bring out in future years when they are all grown to remember the kind words they had to said about each other.
Bedtime would be full of kisses and loves, as we ended another year of celebrating our love for our children and their love for one another. I'm sure there are hundreds of ideas that one could find on pinterest nowadays for Valentine's Day ideas. But now my children are all but grown. Could I start over, Dear Lord? I miss those days! Whatever you choose to do, remember to be present in the moment because moments are fleeting! Happy Valentine's Day!