Yearly traditions are like the fun loving, cool big brother of weekly rituals. We get to make up and do whatever we want for these once a year holidays. Plus, it’s another essential tool in the handy mom toolbox to help us live intentional lives. The same benefits of connection and happiness that we saw for weekly rituals also apply to once a year traditions. And parents can choose traditions that best match their family personality and help show their values. After experimenting over the past few years, here are our current favorite Valentine’s Day traditions.
- Love you hearts on the doors Feb 1-14. Every morning the kids wake up to a heart on their doors about a reason why I love them.
- Fancy candlelight Valentine’s Day dinner as a family. The kids receive a card and sometimes a little gift. I’m thinking about hiding it somewhere this year to make it more fun.
- Mr Mustache comes to dinner. I put on a pink mustache and pretend I’m a “very important person.” -The kids giggle uncontrollably. This was not a planned tradition, but sometimes the spontaneous ones are the best! As a bonus, they see mom being playful (a bit of a struggle of mine).
- Splurge Date the Friday after Valentine’s Day with hubby. We don’t follow this date exactly, but it gives us a fun framework for some more special ideas for an at home date. Basically we splurge a little on a treat and a few activities we don’t normally spend money on.
Other Traditions I’ve come across that I love
- Say or write down in a “love” journal what you love about each person in the family. Keep it from year to year to look at.
- Eat pancakes with strawberries or other red food (pasta sauce, grapes, beets, strawberry smoothie, etc)
- A book or sign that says “10 things I love about…” hung on their doors
- Make a card out of nature. Turn twigs and pinecones into a big heart and take a picture for a Valentine’s card your family can give to people.
- Send your Christmas cards out for Valentine’s Day. A friend of mine skips the Christmas card tradition in favor of a family card that goes out on Valentine’s day. It seems more relaxing!
I have a bad tendency to want to keep adding more and more traditions (because they’re fun loving and cool!). But really, a few key traditions for each holiday are plenty. We want the kids to remember the special ones later on. Not more, but better. We have enough stress in our lives.
Finally, it’s also worth it to reflect on our traditions. A few years ago, I tried a tradition that we found fun. But afterwards I realized that it didn’t really match up with our values or our family personality. So, I let it go and found something more in alignment. Additionally, our families evolve and then so do our traditions. It’s ok to change a tradition that doesn’t work anymore.
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions with your family or with your husband? I would love to hear what works for you!