Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day For Kids...

When my kids were little, I made a big deal out of every holiday. It gave us a chance to do special things together and make some memories. I may be the only one of us who still remembers those times, but the three of us had fun. Valentine’s Day was no exception. I tell my kids I love them every day, and this is a holiday about love where you can show someone how much you care by your actions, instead of words.

First of all we always got those little cards to give out to classmates and some kind of snack sized candy to go with it and a little heart filled with chocolate for the teacher. Elementary schools always make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day.

This was also a good excuse to do some baking with the girls. We made lots of heart shaped sugar cookies that we decorated and cup cakes with pink icing. They were always excited about baking and giving some of their masterpieces to their grandparents and uncles.

I would make sure I had red construction paper home and a package of white doilies so they could make special cards for their grandmothers. I tried to instill in them that homemade things were much better than store bought because they are made with love.

I also made them cards. Neither one ate very much candy so I would find little Valentine “jewelry” for them to wear or other little popular inexpensive trinkets at the stores. This was more to teach that it’s not the size of the gift, but the thought that counts. They were always happy with what they received.

They used to bring me home the cards they made at school. I made a big fuss over them and put them right up on the refrigerator for days. I remember once getting a coupon book as a gift. Each coupon could be “cashed in” for a hug, a kiss, or some other token of affection. I miss those days.

There are so many ideas online today, on ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children, that I did not have access to. We made the best of old fashioned traditions and had a great time in the process. I always looked at different holidays as an opportunity to create special family times together and to teach them values. Once they start growing up, they become busier with school and friends and the things we used to do with them aren’t nearly as much fun.

I am very glad I thought of different way to celebrate Valentine’s day with my girls and I hope they have wonderful memories of those times. Valentine’s Day may have lost a lot of it’s meaning through commercialism, but there are still ways to capture the essence of it and share that with your children.

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