In a couple days, I've got to turn in a post about great ideas for Valentine's Traditions for our Motherhood Matters Column at the Deseret News. I'd love some help!
In our family growing up, Valentine's Day was pretty mellow. We looked forward to each getting a new glass or mug full of candy at the breakfast table on Valentine's Day (it seemed we needed new glasses or cups once a year since my dad was opposed to plastic cups and glassware + nine children and friends = plenty of breakage). I remember working with my siblings to put together Valentine cards complete with conversation hearts to pass out out all our friends (carefully reading all hearts that went into boys' valentines to be sure I wouldn't be giving anyone the wrong idea). Valentine's Day was nice. It was sufficient.
Then I went through my teenage years and twenties dreading Valentine's Day. I become convinced that it was a horrible holiday that caused a lot more pain than joy as it reminded every unattached girl and woman of what she wanted and didn't have. And on the few occasions when I did have someone I was dating or interested in around Valentine's Day, there was plenty of angst trying to figure out what actions or lack of actions on Valentine's Day might MEAN. Then when I was married, I quickly found that the angst didn't go away and that going out to dinner on Valentine's Day and waiting for a table for hours just wasn't worth it (especially when finding and paying a babysitter was involved).
Since having kids old enough to care, I've worked to make Valentine's Day more of a family affair. I love the idea of focusing on the love we all have for each other during February and doing some special activities to celebrate that love. But I need more ideas. All I've got so far is that the kids get candy on their plates when they come down for breakfast on Valentine's Day morning (nod to my mom) and we do this great "heart attack" activity I stole from my sister Shawni (check it out on her blog here).
I'd love some more ideas for fun family and/or couple traditions for Valentine's Day (and the week or two prior) that I can use in my own family and share with the readers of our Deseret News column. What do you do? What else have you heard of?