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Paper Hearts: A Valentine’s Day Tradition

 Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me…you’re over the expired chocolates in a heart shaped box thing.  You don’t want roses. You want, you NEED, something new to take the Hallmark, and the “have to,” out of the holiday.  I know I want something more and I am all about making people feel loved and adored, just for who they are.

Here are some creative and non-commercial Valentine’s Day ideas:

Paper Hearts

For the first 14 days in February, my kids and husband wake up to a new paper heart cut out of construction paper. In each one, I describe what I see and love about the recipient.  This is probably my favorite tradition in our house because it’s something everyone can look forward to (even my husband…I see him peeking!). It costs next to nothing and I can complete them in 30 intentional minutes. These paper hearts really talk to their real hearts.  It’s a simple way to let them know I see who they are, without the mush, but WITH excitement!

Worldly Traditions

Learn about Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world!  Not only does this lead to different perspectives, but it’s incredible how many conversations start this. Your imagination can take you so far when you have a map in hand.  Did you know that lovers exchange spoons in Wales?  As a family, why not do as the French do and plant a lover’s tree.  There are 16 traditions from around the world in this article.

Make Dinner Together

Have a date night in and set the tone for the whole family!  We have the same meal for Valentine’s Day every year, and have done so since my husband and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together — back when love had just struck us.  I’ll never forget it…we lived in upstate NY, there was literally FEET of snow on the ground and he insisted on standing on our back porch to grill us a meal.  I loved him then and I love him more now.  ANYWAY – you can make this a family affair!  We set the lights low, we light candles, and everyone has a hand at making something.  My kids love it and think it’s hysterical.  I think there’s really something about making the ordinary beautiful.  Each and every single year, my husband marinates and grills an amazing pork tenderloin as well as fresh asparagus.  We have twice baked potatoes and an incredibly colorful salad full of raw veggies.  Because a Valentine’s Day meal simply can’t be complete without a dessert, we make DIY strawberry shortcakes with dairy free whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  Add lots of smiles, laughter, and another meal around our dining room table together – and it’s a night that seems like a dream come true. 

Take a Test

Find out exactly how each person in your family feels and expresses love.  You might think that making dinner for your family every night really gets their engines revved because of all the love you pour into it to nourish their little, and big, bodies. But the truth may be that your son feels loved when he gets a big squeeze and his is hand held. And your daughter needs quality time spent with her. And your husband needs words that affirm his heart. You can take this free test to find out your love language!  There is also a quiz on that same website for kids.  Vow to love each other in the ways that mean the most to each person!

Share a Dream

Share your dreams to catch a vision. The family that can dream together can create a lasting vision of commitment, love, gratitude, adventure, and togetherness.  Create a vision board with your family and plan to revisit it often throughout the year.  On Valentine’s Day next year, see how many of your dreams have come true. Then make another vision board!

Wishing that your future Valentine’s Days be forever unique, sparkling, and different,

Allie D.

 

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