I make a big deal about holidays. There, I said it.
Birthdays come with balloons and banners and a stack of presents and a homemade cake, I start planning Christmas outfits right after Halloween is over and my kids WILL be wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. I have had friends question my desire to make Valentine’s Day special for my kids, but with my overall zeal for holidays, it should come as no surprise that I will turn a romantic holiday into a full two-week celebration of love for my boys.
We start celebrating on February 1st. My three boys wake up to a single heart on their bedroom door with something I love about them. They will wake up to a new heart each morning leading up to Valentine’s Day. My oldest son’s love language is words of affirmation and he loves this tradition more than I imagined when I started it.
I also like to spend the first few days of February talking to my sons about ways to show people we care about them. Since they love to craft, we scour Pinterest together for cute Valentines they can make and send to family members. When they are old enough to write on their own, they add handwritten notes to the back of each one.
Since February is usually a cold and dreary month, any activity that I can incorporate that helps my sons burn some energy is a hit. A heart hunt is a festive way to get some of those after-school crazies out. To make it fun for three different skill levels, I cut out three sets of hearts in different colors and sizes. Each child is assigned a color of hearts that are hidden according to their abilities. We turn on our Valentine’s playlist and they race to find their hearts.
On Valentine’s Day morning, the kids wake up to find a small present waiting for them on the fireplace. Then in the evening, we attempt a photo shoot with varying degrees of success and then have a family dinner at IHOP. While we are there, we go around the table and each say something we love about someone else and something that someone has done lately that has made us feel loved.
Raising boys that show love and talk about their feelings is a priority for me, so taking a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day to focus on that helps me to be intentional in these lessons.