Valentine’s Day after kids usually means no more candlelight dinners and fancy food. Maybe you find yourself serving up a box of mac and cheese on the night of February 14th. But what if I told you that you can have a nice dinner even with little ones.
When it comes to elegant meals with my husband, they are rare and pretty much nonexistent in this season of life. Instead of wallowing in the fact that we have four small children or taking them to a nice restaurant (aka a recipe for disaster)…we have decided to involve them in our special night.
What We Do
Last year, we started a new tradition that involves a fun family night that motivates us to serve well and think of others. We start by drawing names about a week or so before Valentine’s day. The kids then have a few days to think about what they want to get that special person. We usually set a budget around $5 a gift and then they take turns going to our local Walmart to find the perfect present for their sibling.
On February 14th, we prepare our gifts and hide them until dinner. My girls especially enjoy decorating the dining room with a tablecloth and some flowers. I might even add a flameless, battery operated candle or two. Then we get all dressed up and enjoy a delicious dinner with real dishes (this is a big deal to my children that are used to plastic IKEA dishes). This year we might even offer some sparkling grape juice to make it extra fancy.
Why We Do It
Our reasoning behind going through all of this work for a silly holiday is to teach our children to serve our family and to show love. Like any other home, the atmosphere can sometimes be filled with arguing and selfishness. My husband and I want to find creative ways to help our children find joy in loving others even when they are difficult to love.
While it is important for my husband and me to get away (we usually do dinner a few days before Valentine’s Day) we also want to build our family up to love God and love others.
Our Long Term Goals
Eventually, I would love for this tradition to grow and grow into something bigger. Our hope is that as our children get older that they would be more willing to plan this special night on their own and really find unique ways to show appreciation to their family. I’m excited to see what they come up with and how they use their individual talents to contribute to this special night.
What do you do with your kids on Valentine’s day?
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