There’s no reason that you can’t have a special celebration with all of your valentines – big and little – and not have to spend a fortune to let them know they’re loved. It’s not about how much you spend, but how meaningful the gesture. Here are some ideas that can work for just the two of you or the whole clan!
- First, you can indulge in the typical Valentine’s Day treats, but on a smaller scale. Instead of a dozen roses, one rose with a sweet note or tucked someplace special (here’s a wikihow for folding your note into a cute heart: http://www.wikihow.com/Fold-a-Note-Into-a-Heart .) Personalize a candy bar for the kids, rather than give them a giant chocolate-filled heart-shaped box.
- Though not a new concept, I can’t say enough for those coupon books made out of construction paper. I’ve redeemed many a foot massage, car wash, “quiet time”, and breakfast in bed vouchers in my time. There’s nothing better!
- Along those same lines, a homemade Valentine’s card in infinitely more amazing than a store bought card. Pull out the markers, stickers, glitter, pipe cleaners, etc. Time to get creative! You’d be surprised at what you can do with a small box of the conversation hearts candy.
- Spend time together that has nothing to do with normal life. Slow down, talk without having to shout over Nickelodeon, be attentive, and renew your dreams together…I know this is a tough one for the guys. Step up, fellas!
- Share a special evening as a family – nothing expensive. Let everyone pick their favorite dinner item, and then make your menu from them. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match or if you have three desserts. When I was growing up, we had an international extravaganza for Christmas dinner, having all picked our favorite food from another country. It was so much fun! Set up a picnic in the living room, sit on pillows, make homemade pizza in the shape of a heart, play board games. Create memories for our next idea…
- Dig out the photo albums and go through them together. For kids, there’s nothing cooler and weirder than seeing your parents when they were young. Revisit special memories, vacations, birthdays, events. Isn’t this why you made a photo album in the first place? OK, maybe you’re not nearly as old as me and have all of your photos on the computer. It’s really easy to make a slide show, with music, captions…the whole nine yards. View it through the TV or pile into the bed and watch it on a laptop.
Heads up – whatever you choose to do, turn off your cell phones, and don’t cross the line between “cute cheesy” and “way to silly cheesy.”
Finally, the old tried-and-true romantic freebies that have stood the test of time. Dance. Star gaze. Take a walk together. And most important – say “I love you.”