The date on the calendar is fast-approaching February 14 and another Valentine’s Day will soon be at hand. I know that many people do not appreciate the fact that this holiday and others have been hijacked by retailers who are only interested in celebrations and gifts that include spending lots of money with them. However, once I had children I began to realize that Valentine’s Day did not have to mean boxes of chocolate or a bouquet of roses. There were many ways that Valentine’s Day could be used as a family celebration and in the process teach valuable lessons to my children.

Sweet Words in a Jar

One creative way to use an old jar that once contained sweet jelly or another substance is to fill it with sweet words to, from, and about family members. You can give your jar a theme like “10 Reasons I Like Spending Time With My Children” or “8 Ways My Mother Puts a Smile on My Face.” These notes can be handwritten to add a personal touch and the jar can be decorated with things like magazine clippings, tissue paper, or the old pages of a calendar. Creativity is the key and these affirmations will warm the heart for the entire year once your Valentine’s Day celebration is completed.

Have a Scrapbook Day

You and your family can begin a new family tradition by making a scrapbook each Valentine’s Day that uses photos from the previous year to highlight the year’s best moments. The photos you use can be as simple or as complex as you and the members of your family like. The important thing is the time you all commit to the preservation of family memories.

Create a Memory Box

It is likely you have never thought of using an old shoebox as a place to house the favorite memories of your family. You should ask each member of your family to commit their favorite moments together to paper and place them in the shoebox. Other memorabilia that will help to commemorate these favorite moments can be placed in the shoebox also. This is a great activity for children as young as preschool ages. And they will never tire of reliving some of these memories when they are much older.

Plant Something

Green-conscious individuals will love the idea of foregoing candy and other sweets on Valentine’s Day in favor of a pack of seeds. There is something a little special about a gift that requires action on the part of the recipient after the gift is received. It is also nice to consider how you will have the opportunity to spend multiple Valentine’s Days with the flowers you plant and watch bloom.

Care for Others

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for you and your family to visit a hospital or nursing home. You can take cards with you for the people you visit or make the experience more personal by taking supplies with you and making cards while spending time with the people with whom you spend the day. Your children will learn that time spent with others is much more valuable than glittery things to look at and sweet things to eat.

Be Grateful

There are a number of people who toil day in and day out in anonymity so that we all can enjoy our lives more easily. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to recognize these hard-working civil servants. A batch of homemade cookies or bundle of Valentine’s Day cards will be a great way to acknowledge people like librarians, firemen, police officers, and others that we often take for granted.

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