Valentine’s Day is a special day in our house. This is the day we have dedicated to two things…expressing our LOVE for each other and making fondue!! Although we love to make fondue on more than one occasions, we’ve had years go by when the fondue pots were no where to be seen, so making fondue a Valentine’s Day tradition in our family, guarantees that no matter how busy we get during the year, there is one day that fondue will DEFINITELY be served! Our fondue meal consists of two courses… the cheese fondue, which we serve with various meats and dippers and a chocolate fondue which also include lots of delicious dippers such as fruit, Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and pretzels.
There are also a few other Valentine’s Day traditions we try to incorporate. Our goal is to show our children that you can have a day of love, celebration, and appreciation, even if you are not romantically involved with someone.
Here are a few other traditions we incorporate:
1. GOING AROUND THE TABLE AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT EACH PERSON. This is such an easy and fun activity and certainly should not be reserved just for Valentine’s Day. We should tell our family how much we love them, every day… but you have to admit, there is no better day to do it than Valentine’s Day and you can make a point of being especially mushy and lovey! For instance, we talk about what makes each person at the table special and unique. It’s not the easiest thing for some people to talk about (especially my boys), but once they get started, they typically have no problems expressing themselves.
2. BRAINSTORMING ON HOW TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES FEEL LOVED. We enjoy teaching our kids that gestures of kindness and appreciation do not have to be grand or complicated. Sometimes we talk about what they can do for their grandparents (maybe draw a picture or write down some of the things that make their grandparents special). Sometimes we brainstorm on ways to make our friends feel good, especially if they are down or feeling lonely. Even quick gestures of respect, like saying thank you, excuse me, or holding the door open for someone, can generate a smile.
3. WATCH A FUN VALENTINE’S DAY MOVIE AS A FAMILY. Movie night is always fun, but you can make it extra special on Valentine’s Day by snuggling up together on the couch and watching a fun Disney movie such as Lady and The Tramp, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, or even the Sound of Music.
4. HAVE A SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY MEAL TRADITION. For our family, a fondue dinner is our big Valentine’s Day event. But you can create something that is unique and special to your family. What about a red dinner and red dessert (lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs in a red sauce and red velvet cake)? Heart shaped Pizza? Heart shaped pancakes or waffles for breakfast? I read in an article that a man and his wife always had a picnic on Valentine’s Day (they must have lived somewhere warm). Another family started celebrating February 15th, when all the chocolate would go on sale… you have to admit, pretty clever! Whatever you choose, it should be a reflection of what your family loves and enjoys. Even something as simple as sharing a box of chocolate with your loved ones, on Valentine’s Day, can be a memorable tradition.
5. LOVE NOTES. Instead of spending money on commercially made Valentine’s Day cards, encourage your children to write you love notes and you should do the same for them. This tradition doesn’t take much time or money but can be the most valuable of all, especially if your children decide to keep their love notes for years to come!