More than 90 percent of Americans get a gift for their significant otheron Valentine’s Day, but the love doesn’t stop there: We each spend just north of $40 getting something special for children, pets, and even co-workers.
Valentine’s Day has long been positioned as a holiday celebrating romantic love, focused on candlelit dinners and big ribbon-tied boxes of chocolate. But romantic love doesn’t have to be the focus of your day, and it’s often more fun when Feb. 14 is devoted to the people who still decorate shoeboxes in anticipation of cartoon-covered valentines from their friends: children.
This Valentine’s Day, redefine your celebrations to involve your kids and make the day exciting for your entire family. Consider these ideas to see for yourself how you can reclaim this day devoted to celebrating love:
Embrace Handblown Art
You may not splurge on beautiful pieces of art very often, but handblown glass objects are captivating and constantly visible, giving you and your family a visual reminder of something important to you all. Handmade votives and drinkers from glassybaby fit the bill perfectly because they’re not only eye-catching, but they also give back to causes you and your family value, from the environment to cancer research.
Create Handprinted Art
Ahandprinted heart preserves your child’s hands and feet, allowing you to cherish his or hertiny toes and fingers long past the age when you could hold them in your own hands. You can do this with the help of paint and paper; however, the most permanent methodis to use plaster. You can frame these prints toencase them as asweet memory of your beloved child and hang them up. Children love seeing reminders of what they were like when they were little!
Celebrate Your Child’s Unique Talent
Your busy routine oftenmakes it difficult to spend true quality time with your children. You devote hours of your week to preparing food, doing the laundry, and picking up, but these daily chores often make celebrating your kids’ strengths and noticing the small-but-wonderful things they do difficult. Use this occasion to celebrate their distinctive talents and show them how proud you are of them as individuals, whether that’s by asking your little actor to put on a play or taking your basketball star to the driveway for some hoops.
Remember the Lonely
Love is an act of making others feel special and letting them know that their existence matters. You can plan to visit a nearby nursing home, women’s shelter, or soup kitchen with your family to focus on giving back and celebrating others. Thinking of others before yourself will not only make the grown-ups in your family grateful for their own blessings, but it will also help instillstrong values in your children.
Plan a Creative Activity
You can send cute cards to family members on Valentine’s Day, but rather than buy the cards, take time as a family to make homemade cards. This will be a fun art activity for your kids that will allow them to explore their creativity and think about others they love — and your loved ones will be happy to see the special effort put in by your entire family. And if you know Aunt Mildred has a sweet tooth, you can bake special Valentine’s Day treats with your kids to include with the cards.
Start a Tradition
Traditions can sound intimidating, but they can involve something as small as collecting a charm each year for your baby until he or she is old enough to enjoy them. Another fantastic idea is to start writing a love letter each year, with the purpose of giving the letters to your son or daughter in the future. There are plenty of Valentine’s Day gift ideas on Pinterest and Google, and you can use these as inspiration to start something special of your own.
With $1 billion spent on cards every year, Valentine’s Day certainly holds a special place in Americans’ hearts.While it would be easy for busy adults to overlook the holiday or treat it like one more box to tick off their to-do list, taking the time to make it a fun and affectionate day for your kids will remind them of how much they are loved. And that’s a memory they’ll hold for many Valentine’s Days to come.