I thought I’d share what we are doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family this year.
We are making the focus of the month about God’s love for us, our love for each other as a family, and taking special time to celebrate friendships. I especially want to build a family culture around the holiday that has a warmth to it that anyone can enjoy, single or married, friend or family. (I’ve been greatly inspired by Sally Clarkson’s book, The Lifegiving Home.) So how are we doing that?
- I have a pretty vase of flowers on the table. I had wanted to add branches so that we could hang hearts with verses about love on them, but that just hasn’t happened. So, we have special flowers, and we have started family devotions* immediately after breakfast. We read a verse about love, sing a song, and then pray. I do this alone with the children on weekdays since the Norseman leaves for work pretty early. On weekends, he leads it.
- I want to make the extra effort to write a handwritten note to my various friends. I am not very good at remembering to do this, but this month will be an especial effort. And, yes, friends that read this, I have spoiled the surprise for you. But maybe now there is the joy of expectation?
- I want to get together for a breakfast and thrift store day with a special older lady who is like a mentor to me. Hopefully we (both) have the time.
- I bought a couple of inexpensive things at Wal-mart to have a special tea with Prima – just some plain pink paper plates, pink and white sprinkles, and heart cookie cutters. She is too young to do much of anything profound, but in the future I hope it will become a time of special sharing with her. Little Man is too young for anything very special, but we will figure that out as he gets older. I may invite a couple of her friends to come join us, or it may be just us and then we do something else special with her friends. They won’t get it right now, but Sally Clarkson has really impressed on me the importance of setting family traditions, establishing that family culture, right now, instead of waiting until they are older. Doing it now ensures that it becomes ingrained in who they are, something anticipated and expected.
- We’re going on a date night, just the Norseman and I, on Valentine’s Day. But I want to do more. Maybe we will go day camping, or have another special date night with a sitter, or something like that. Whatever it is, it will be something that is special to us as a couple, not necessarily what someone else might think of as special or fun. I encourage you to do the same, if you are married. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be limited to dinner out, chocolates, candy, and flowers (although if those are your love language as a couple, go for it!)
- Prima does lots of coloring and cutting of paper these days. I’d like to channel some of that into making special little Valentine’s for her grandparents. I think that they would greatly enjoy receiving them, and it would start to build that habit in her heart of showing love and appreciation in tangible ways to her special people.
*We just started doing family devotions again, and I’ll share what that looks like with a two year old and seven month old next Monday. We’ve had our starts and stops with it but I think we’ve found something that works.