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What Valentine’s Day Means to Me

Over the years Valentine’s Day has been both my favorite and least favorite holiday. It was great when I was a teenager and had a boy buy me a rose (swoon), and not so great as the sad, single adult Day that ended in lots of tears and eating my feelings. As I’ve gotten older and gained a new perspective on life (mostly through the eyes of children), I’ve realized that you can make Valentine’s Day a wonderful day no matter your status.

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{Top image via The Cake Mamas; Image via 100 Layer Cake}

I’ve heard so many people complain about the day being just a “Hallmark” day, created by corporations in order to get you to spend lots of money on gifts, food and flowers in order to prove you love those special people in your life. While the actual origins seem to begin in Rome, I can’t argue that the holiday hasn’t been highly commercialized.

For me, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. It’s a time to take a break from our crazy over-scheduled lives and remember to do something kind for the people we love. We seem to be racing through life, and let’s face it, we sometimes forget to slow down and show those around us how much we care.

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{Image via The Alison Show}

I suggest making your own family Valentine’s Day tradition. You don’t have to buy a dozen roses for $75, you don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant, you don’t have to spend any money! What you can do is something completely unique and personal to your family. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Play a silly board game. Laughter and quality time together is priceless.

  • Make cupcakes or cookies together. Really let the kids help and decorate them any way they want to!

  • Write love notes to each other. Pick a special chair and have one family member seated in it at a time. Then have each person read them their love note. Lots of warm fuzzies.

  • Make a special dinner and eat by candlelight. This can be such a novelty for children; they will be giddy! Or set up a “Love Bug Cafe” such a fun idea!

  • Participate in random acts of kindness – pick up someone else’s tab, leave hand picked flowers on a neighbor’s door, or send friends and family snail-mail valentines.

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xoxo cupcakes

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{Images via The CoterieMartha Stewart and Etsy}

A friend of mine from high school (Alison of The Alison Show) started making and sending all of our girlfriends mixtapes that had a different theme every year. It was so much fun getting that little something in the mail, and the music choices were always good for a laugh.

When you take the time to model kindness and love not only to your children, but to perfect strangers, your kiddos will take note. As they grow older, Valentine’s Day won’t leave them in tears if some boy or girl doesn’t call, but instead, they will be filled with the memories of doing good for others, and making sure other people in their life feel special.

What are your family’s Valentine’s Day traditions?

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