Guest Author - Sandra Lee Garth
Valentine’s Day is meant to be shared with the ones we love. It can be a celebration for kids, families, or couples. Here are some fun ideas.
Children love to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends. This is the day of the year that allows them to show their friends how much they care. Making their own Valentines to handout is easy, and they’ll have fun doing it. Start out by helping your children to cut out hearts for the cards. Decorate the front of the heart with stickers, glitter, or ribbon. A personal note written on the back finishes the card.
Another fun project is to make special treat bags to go with the cards. Fill the bags with chocolate candies or conversation hearts. Get pink or red tulle from the local craft store and cut into squares. After the squares have been cut, place a small pile of candy in the center of each one. Finish the treat bags by pulling up the sides, and tying them together with ribbon.
It’s also a nice idea to include a small Valentine’s Day gift for the teachers. Consider giving the teacher her/his own special candy stash. This works best with small chocolate candies, but can be done with most any type. Start with a clean dry jar with a lid. Fill the jar with candy, and cover the lid with a square piece of fabric in Valentine’s Day colors. Tie the cloth onto the lid with a ribbon, and add a handwritten message.
Start Valentine’s Day with a surprise for each family member. Make small mailboxes to place on the back of each of their chairs. Use half of a cereal box to make the mailbox. Cover the outside of the mailbox in either red or pink construction paper. Decorate with the person’s name, cut out hearts, and glitter to make it special. Use a hole punch to place two holes on the back of the mailbox. Insert ribbon into the holes, and then attach the mailboxes to the back of each chair at the dinner table.
Before everyone wakes up, place a card and a small gift into each mailbox. The gift can be a small stuffed animal, a little bit of chocolate, or whatever you think is affordable, and appropriate. The idea is to make each family member feel special and appreciated.
The decorated mailbox is a wonderful lead in to a special Valentine’s Day breakfast. This should be a big meal that includes all of your family’s favorite breakfast foods. Make free-form heart shaped pancakes or search out a heart mold or ring at the cooking store. Chocolate lovers will enjoy a few chocolate chips tucked inside this breakfast treat. Fresh fruit and whipped cream are also good add-ons. Heart shaped toast is an extra thoughtful way to show them how much they are loved. Don’t forget the eggs, bacon, hash browns, and muffins.
End the day with a special sit down dinner, and use your best dishes to pull together a fun tablescape. Go around the table and have each person share their favorite part of their Valentine’s Day.
Prepare a special meal for you and your Valentine. Pull out all the stops with whatever your time and budget will allow. If time and resources are limited, whip up a decadent dessert. If your Valentine is a fan of chocolate, make a molten chocolate mini cake for each of you, or maybe Tiramisu. Don’t overlook store bought ingredients if baking isn’t your forte. A delicious trifle is easily created with layers of pound cake, pudding, and fresh fruit. Top it off with a couple dollops of whipped cream.
How about a picnic? Spread a blanket on the floor, light the candles, and put on your favorite music. Place pillows around the edges of the blanket to give you something to lean on. This could be the ultimate setting for the amazing dessert you‘ve prepared.
You may choose to just read romantic poems, or simply hold hands while enjoying each other’s company in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Whatever you do turn the cell phones off and shut down the laptops. The world will still be there tomorrow and you can catch up then. The most important thing is to share the love with your family on Valentine’s Day. Make it affordable, and make it memorable. Everyone deserves to feel special.