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Valentine's Day In

Create lasting memories this Valentine's Day at home with traditions new and old

Reservations were made, the card was signed, and gifts oozed with romance. Then kids entered the picture. At this stage of life, energy can be low, and time can be short so flowers and candle-lit dinners might take a backseat. But that doesn’t mean Valentine’s Day has to stay there. While it’s still important to spend alone time with your significant other, a simple shift in thinking can shed new light on St. Valentine and all his “Be Mines'' and “Forget Me Nots.” Get creative with sweet new family-friendly Valentine’s Day activities at home and watch new traditions unfold.

Americans will spend $24 billion on Valentine’s Day this year but that doesn’t mean you have to. Instead of digging in your pockets for an overpriced stuffed animal or a box of mystery chocolates, dig into your scrap paper bin and put together a tear-out coupon book for each other. Do you remember doing this as a kid? Mom will be so excited to turn in her coupon for a tech-free day together and if Dad doesn’t have to run the garbage out for a whole week…sold! And don’t forget about the kids. We all know a teenager who will come out of their room long enough to turn in their ‘get out of chores free’ coupon for 24 hours or a little guy or girl giddy to use their half-hour later bedtime on a Friday night. Proof love and fun don’t have to cost a penny!

Have you heard the expression eat your feelings? Well in this case eat a little love and tenderness with heart-shaped pancakes whisked, buttered, and flipped assembly line style in your kitchen. Add food coloring to make them extra ‘heart-y’, then pile on all the delicious toppings: chocolate chips, sprinkles, and whipped cream. Or slip into your fanciest duds for fine dining right in your own dining room. Create an eloquent restaurant atmosphere complete with candles, fancy dishes, and a little, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” conversation. And, since most holidays are an excuse to make cute and delicious treats, finish up the meal with a goodie board filled with candy, fruit, and all things sweet (and pink).

Whether you’re an ambitious crafter or a crafting wannabe you don’t have to look far for red and pink do-it-yourself creation ideas that everyone can appreciate and pull off. Go treasure hunting around the house for supplies, get a little messy and then marvel at the Valentine’s Day ornament that you made (or laugh when you didn’t quite “Nail It”) Or go OG and make homemade Valentines with all the glitter (gasp!), conversation hearts, and stickers you can manage. 

 Pick a few favorites then spread the love with homemade surprises made from the heart showing up in grandparents', aunt’s, and cousin’s mailboxes.

The idiom ‘home is where the heart is’ is one that’s used often when talking about feelings, so being home on Valentine’s Day just makes sense. Planning a special day at home is a perfect opportunity to unwind, create happy memories, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a chance to tell your kids what love means to you and how much you love them. Nobody said the Cupid myth was limited to that chubby little baby in his diaper, flowing sash and fluttery wings shooting his arrow through the hearts of romantic partners as they fell head over heels. If he is who we believe him to be, a guy whose wounds inspire love, then he knows that ultimately this day should be about celebrating all the love in your life.

Sweet Treat Table

Surprise your children with a sweet treat table. Keep it simple with a few favorite snacks and candies like Valentine’s Day mini cupcakes, chocolate-dipped Oreos, or cookies, or for a more extravagant display, use fresh flowers and create a handmade centerpiece. 

Valentines Tree

To create this easy and eye-catching centerpiece, collect fallen branches and paint them white. We used a thrifted, repurposed white ceramic jar to assemble the branches for the base. Use a floral foam to stabilize the branches, and place moss at the top of the jar. 

Valentine’s Day Ornaments

Create heart ornaments to hang on your Valentine's Tree Centerpiece. These ornaments can be used as clue cards for a kid's Valentine's Day scavenger hunt. Instruct children to find their picture on the tree and hunt for the hidden treasure in the house. We used recycled shipping boxes to create the heart base and painted them red. We then used a hole punch to create a lace-like edge to complete the look.

Dinner for date night at home

For this look, we decided to set the table in a non-traditional casual setting—the coffee table in the living room. Layer pillows and cozy blankets on the ground for comfortable seating. We used two layers of fabric for the runner and added a handmade floral arrangement as the centerpiece. To achieve this look, use a two-layer serving tray and layer flowers and stems to adorn the tray. Add grapes or berries to give a fuller and textured look. For a romantic ambiance, add candle sticks, a bottle of wine, and a fancy drink for the kids, then ask Alexa to play the “Greatest love songs” playlist. 

Planning a special day at home is a perfect opportunity to unwind, create happy memories, and enjoy each other’s company.