We love Valentine’s Day around here. We celebrate it as a family. Though romance is lovely for My Sweetie and I, we decided many years ago to focus on rejoicing in the love first shown us by God and as also seen in the gift of family on Valentine’s Day instead. I’ve shared our I Love You Party memories many years, but I usually do it afterwards. A day late and a dollar short if I was to inspire you. I mean, really, who can remember good ideas 51 weeks later?
So, I thought I’d share, in advance, the simple things I do that add up to big memories on Valentine’s Day.
1) I buy the following: red, pink and white paper (OK, I’ll admit I’ve never bought it in advance, we just always have various kinds of colored paper), tiny gifts to set at the table (think dollar bin at Target), Valentine’s Day disposable dessert plates and napkins, fishing line, clear tape and food (will elaborate more on this next).
2) I plan a menu (sometimes breakfast and dinner, but usually just dinner) that can be altered to form hearts. This sounds more difficult than it is. Just be silly with your heart shaped cookie cutter or knife. I’ve made mini pizzas (heart shaped bread pan), cut out meatloaf into hearts (slice and then use cookie cutter), zucchini sliced and then cut little bits out to form hearts, and more I can not remember. Last year I was really stretching it with burritos that had heart shaped dolllups of sour cream on them, but it worked.
3) The night before Valentine’s Day I cut out a bunch of different sized hearts (I make 6-8 per kid) and cut the fishing line the length I’d like (I like it to be from the ceiling or above bunk and dangle past their face, unless it’s a baby). I tape the ends of the line on the kitchen table then start taping hearts down. Mix up colors if you like. It looks pretty. Then I write words on each heart “We love (insert child’s name) because He first loved us!!” or “We love (insert child’s name) very, very much!” Then I tape/tack each strand up while my precious ones sleep. I usually make the paper badges (see #5 for explanation) at this time too. Sometimes I forget to make the badges and I am scrambling to cut them out while dinner is being served. Ahem.
4) I place a treat at each plate for dinner and we enjoy our meal. I use the napkins at this time, saving the dessert plates for… dessert. My Sweetie usually reads some verses about what love really is from the Bible and we talk about the gift of love as seen in Christ.
5) Then, the big event (in my book… the kids look forward to this too, but I’m betting their favorite is #6), we go around the table and have each person say why they love the others. We start with the youngest and we take turns telling him/her why we love him/her. Let me go ahead and say now that you may need to give your children a warning that this will happen. Give them time to think. Some kids are not good on the fly. After each person has been filled with loving words, they receive their heart shaped paper badge that says, “___ is loved!”
6) Finally, we enjoy our heart shaped or heart decorated dessert.
This is not tons of effort, truly, even if it took awhile to read. It’s also not costly. It’s simple and precious. Trust me.
Consider having an “I Love You Party” at your home this year.
“I Love You Party” 2010 (the most emotional; also has a photo of the strand of hearts on one of the kids’ beds)
“I Love You Party” 2009 (when we had to do it at a restaurant)
“I Love You Party” 2008 (first one on the blog)
What do you think your loved ones might say for the reasons they love one another?
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