What Do You Love? ~ A New Valentine’s Day Tradition

I have such mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day.  I love boxes of candy.  I love roses.  I love the pink and red combo.  I love cards.  I love cute, homemade stuff.  I love my kids.  I love my husband.  I should love Valentine’s Day, right?  Well, I do.  Really, I do.  But, I don’t really love the thought of giving more toys, right after Christmas.  I’m kinda over that…so, I usually give the kids a new book.  And, I’m out of gift ideas for the husband, I used every one of them for Christmas, and his birthday that’s just four days before.  Rough life, I know.  See what I mean about mixed feelings?  It’s like, “oooh, fun!” and “ugh” all jumbled together.

Hey, remember when kids used to secretly leave Valentines at your door?  They would ring the door bell and run away, remember??  That was awesome.  What happened to that??  Or, is it still around, and I just haven’t clued into the fact that I’m the only one not getting secret Valentines?  Maybe y’all have piles and piles of love notes covering your door steps.  Sad.

Anyhoo, something else that I love is traditions.  So far, on Valentine’s, the kids will have a treasure hunt, with clues written on hearts that lead them all around the house, until at last they find their new book and a little treat.  We also write a card/love note to each one of them, to include with their Valentine. (I blogged about it, here.) It’s way fun, but that’s pretty much the extent of our festivities…so, I decided that I would come up with a new tradition, to prolong the whole love theme, so it lasts the rest of the day.   After that, they’re back to being called “little terd-butts,” until Valentine’s Day rolls around again.  Just kidding.  Juuuuuuust kidding.

So, here’s what I’m thinking we’ll do this year…

I’m going to type up a paper, as follows:

For breakfast, I love…

For lunch, I love…

For dinner, I love…

For snack, I love…

To drink, I love…

To read, I love…

To watch, I love…

To play, I love…

I’ll cut them into little wordstrips, and put them in a bag.  A couple days before Valentine’s Day, I will have every kid draw out two papers, without showing anyone else.  I’ll probably add a couple duplicates of “to read” and “to play,” since I have a plethora of children.  The kids will then need to fill in the blanks, and give them back to me, so I can start planning our Valentine’s Day.  I want to fill the whole day, doing things that are LOVED, by different family members.

So, for all I know we could be eating Cookie Crisp for breakfast, Cookie Crisp for lunch, and McDonalds for dinner.  Snack might be beef jerky, and Bug Juice to drink.  We’ll probably read something like ‘Go Away’ Big Green Monster, play bowling on the Kinect, and watch iCarly.  But, I don’t care.  It will be awesome, because everyone will get a couple things that they love.  And, Valentine’s is about love, right?  Or, was it chocolate?  I get mixed up.

To jazz it up, I’m thinking of not telling who picked the designated food or activity, and having everyone take a guess.  Maybe whomever gets the most guesses right, will win an extra little Valentine.  Or, maybe just a love tap.  And, of course we’ll still do our traditional Valentine’s treasure hunt.

I’m excited.

Do you have any fun Valentine’s traditions??


  1. Hi Mariel, this looks like a fun idea. I don’t have fun valentine traditions though. My husband and I understand it’s just a commercial holiday, though we do celebrate just to blend in :)

  2. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing. We do things like this all the time for the kids but not for dad so I’m thinking it will be fun to let that be his gift for Vday this year — a day of things he loves. I appreciate the idea.

  3. Great idea! Our only Valentine’s Day tradition so far is to eat a fondue dinner together. I think this is the year we’ll be adding a few more traditions though! THanks!

  4. My birthday is a few days before Valentine’s Day, so the focus is on that. For the longest time I received Valentine-themed gifts for my B-day, but now it’s ot such a big deal to distinguish between the two days.

  5. What I remember most about Valentine’s Day growing up is our traditional dinner. Everything was either red or pink. My mom baked a meatloaf in a heart-shaped pan and covered it in tomato sauce. We had baked potatoes with pink sour cream (it always looked like strawberry yogurt). We drank some sort of cranberry-ginger ale mixed drink. And we always, always had our raspberry pretzel jello salad that felt more like dessert than a side dish.

    We would also each get five conversation hearts at by our plate and there were certain “taboo” words that we couldn’t say at dinner…words like “valentine”, “heart”, “love”, “fun” or anything else my mom thought we’d be tempted to say when telling about our Valentine’s exchange at school. If you caught someone saying one of the words, you could call them out on it and take one of their conversation hearts. If you ran out of hearts, you were free to use the words as much as you wanted and that would sometimes trick others into saying it and you could get back a heart. We all tried to keep as many hearts as we could so we could eat them, but the downside was that you had to make up a story using all your conversation heart phrases once dinner was over. We had some pretty funny stories!

  6. I know exactly how you feel about Valentine’s Day!! I do not buy my husband a gift but I do make him a favourite dessert or usually his favourite squares! We often make Valentines fudge for my kids to take to school and share with their classmates. I usually get my kids a small treat and write them a nice note! That is about it!! I do love hearts though!!!

  7. We use the best China, Silver and Crystal. We give the kids a menu. Under each course we have selections they may circle; Chicken cordon bleu, corn dog, hamburger, hotdog, Chicken Alfredo. Same with a vegetable and dessert. We serve them. We usually go out for lunch or something during the day. I too remember putting valentines at the front door and ringing the doorbell, then running.

  8. Love this idea!!! We do our 100 Acts of Kindness challenge every year for the four weeks up to Valentine’s Day.
    It is a great way to reinforce kindness and that showing love happens more than just on one day.
    This year I also started a wall-o-love. It will definitely be an annual tradition from here on out!

  9. Years ago, I got the kids involved in making a “book of love”. Everyone, parents included, writes down something nice about the other members of the family. I compile them all so that each recipient’s messages are on one page, print them on cardstock, holepunch them, and file them in a three=ring binder. I change the cover each year to note the revised edition.

  10. I remember as a kid leaving Valentines on people’s porches, then running away, too! I thought it was so fun, but I don’t think anyone does that anymore, though….

    This looks like a fun idea! I’ll have to try it with my kids.

    1. Oh, good. Glad I’m not the only one that remembers that! It was so fun. I’m tempted to send my kids out to do it this year…see if we can get something started in the neighborhood.

  11. I like this idea, simple, fun and it involves everyone. I guess our tradition is making homemade valentine’s with my kids to give to friends at school. I have never heard of the doorstep tradition but I like it! Maybe it will make a come back? Thanks for sharing…

  12. I love it! So simple but so much fun! I am kind of a Valentines day grinch, but my kids are getting older and I love sharing love with them.=)

  13. Sounds fun! Never heard of the Valentines on the doorstep game, so maybe it was something unique to the region where you grew up? For our tradition, I get out the good china, crystal, silver; light candles; put Valentines and small boxes of chocolate on everyone’s plate; and splurge on and make a fancy dinner for all of us – kids included – to enjoy. We got so tired of the endless lines to dine out, sitters out on dates… just seemed a natural solution, and everyone feels special.

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