Sunday, February 12, 2012

Family Love Celebrations

Part of this post is from an article I did last year for the Deseret News - but it helped me to re-read it and I thought you might enjoy it as well:

I went through my teenage years and 20s dreading Valentine's Day. It seemed like 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.

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! Plus, I realized that getting flowers and going out to dinner on Valentine's Day wasn't all good: The price of flowers in February is crazy, and getting a baby sitter and a table at a restaurant can be way more trouble than it's worth.

But in the last few years, I've come to love Valentine's Day. While my husband and I do some special couple-oriented things around Valentine's Day, we've decided to focus Valentine's Day, and really all of February, on celebrating FAMILY love, not just romantic love.

One of my favorite February family activities is the "heart attack" we give each other. Toward the beginning of the month, we cut out construction paper hearts (all sizes and colors), write down what we love about a family member on each heart (the little kids dictate to someone who can write), then stick the completed hearts all over our kitchen cabinets.

Another favorite is our "Jar of Love." We got this tradition idea from a friend last year and it's become a favorite. Together, we brainstormed a list of simple, fun little act of service that would show love for family members, friends, neighbors or relatives and write our best ideas on little slips of paper that go into a jar (examples include "leave a secret love note on someone's bed," "read a story about love," "do a secret service for someone in your family," "give an extra lot of hugs and kisses," "say something you like about everyone else at the dinner table," "do a secret service for someone NOT in your family," "write a letter or make a Valentine for someone you love who you haven't seen for a long time." take a treat to a neighbor"). Then for the whole week of Valentine's Day (leading up to the day and a few days after), one of the kids gets to pull out a slip of paper at breakfast and we do what it says on the paper sometime that day. It only takes a few minutes but it's great to prioritize these little acts of love.  And since we still had our jar from last year with all it's little slips of paper in it, we didn't need to re-create it this year and it's been extra easy.

Favorite "jar of love activities" this year:
Today we drew out "read a story about love together." We pulled out some old favorites from when the kids were really little - Guess How Much I Love You, You're All My Favorites, and The Very Best Thing is Bub. We all piled on Silas's bed and I read them all three books. We read chapter books together now so it was fun to go back and do picture books together again. I fell in love with my kids and those books all over again.

And yesterday, we did "write a letter to someone you love who you haven't seen for a while." The kids all did letters for their grandparents. Here's a favorite:

Here's one favorite hearts from the heart attack this year (should have taken more photos but it just didn't happen):

And here's a post about these two traditions from last year with lots of photos and more info:

1 comment:

Eyrealm said...

We loved the Valentines even though we were in Hawaii for Valentine's Day and just got home to get them last night. Tell the kids how much we loved their cute art and thoughts!

Nice post!


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