Valentine's Day is a fun opportunity to show your family you love them. You do it every day, but do it with a flare on this special day. They'll love you for it. And you'll be making memories they can carry in their hearts forever.
These are the moments that help them through their hard times. We suggest you try some of these suggestions. Do the first one, then choose from the rest, or come up with your own ideas.
1. Kiss your spouse with passion, first thing
Start this romance-filled day by saying "I love you," followed by kisses and hugs that remind you of how much you mean to each other. Let it linger a bit, then jump out of bed and do more of this list.
Both of you—mom and dad—sing it together, if possible. It doesn't have to be good, just full of conviction.
A good one is "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?" To refresh your memory, here's Rod Stewart's version. Or choose whatever your favorite is. Be dramatic and have fun with it. Make your kids roll their eyeballs. They'll love it, even if they don't act like it. That's a promise.
3. Make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast
Serve them up with syrup, whipping cream, peanut butter, fresh fruit and whatever else you and your kids love to slather on. Make it memorable. Really yummy food has a way of doing that. Here are some fun ideas from Pinterest.
4. Put a love note into the kids' and hubby's lunch box or pocket
Make sure it's where you know they'll find it. If the kids eat hot lunch, stick it on the cover of their math book. Just be sure it's some place you know they'll see it. For hubby, you might put it in his pocket—the one he puts his keys in. This note will put a smile on their faces and a warm feeling in their hearts.
5. Ask family members for Valentine dinner ideas
Let dinner have at least one thing in it that every person loves. Have family members choose out of a hat a category, such as appetizer, salad, main dish, veggie, or dessert. Have them let you know what their wish is for that category. Do this a couple of days in advance so you can be ready with the ingredients. Then let that person help prepare his or her item. Don't expect perfection. Just have fun.
Let them know that everyone has to eat at least some of each item, and compliment the cook in some way about their item. After all, this is a day to express a little love and appreciation.
6. Gather around the phone and call grandparents
Expressing love on this day to grandma and grandpa can brighten their day. They will love hearing the voices of each family member. You could also Skype if you live far away and haven't seen each other for a while.
7. Heart attack an elderly neighbor or your pastor, or both
You and the kids cut hearts of various sizes out of red or pink construction paper. Write a short message on some of them. For example, "We're glad you're our neighbor." Or "Your smile makes us smile." Or, to your pastor, "Thanks for caring about us." Or "Thanks for reminding us to be good."
Tape these hearts all over their front door. They will love being loved by you.
8. Give a special Valentine to your kids' principal—from them and you
Kids usually give their teachers a Valentine, and you have likely taken the opportunity to thank them in different ways. That's a good thing. Keep it going at Valentine's Day, but this time include their principal.
A principal's job is important and challenging. They often work without notice or appreciation. This is a good day to acknowledge her or his efforts to make your kids' school run smoothly. Thank this VIP with a Valentine and a heart-felt expression of gratitude.
9. Take some heart-shaped cookies to a homeless shelter
Bringing some love to those who have so little can enlarge the hearts of your whole family. Those receiving your gift will be happy that someone remembered them.
If the facility allows it, arrange to have you and your children pass them out and personally wish the recipients a Happy Valentine's Day. Stay close to your children as they give the cookies. Seeing these folks may help them appreciate what they have and at the same time, feel the joy of bringing a little happiness to someone less fortunate.