1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.
It took me a long time to enjoy the holidays. I owe my somewhat new found appreciation for them to God and my children. I never respected what they stood for or how important these special days were meant to be celebrated. Thank God that isn’t the case anymore! Whether you are a “grinch” for most commercial holidays or you embrace them to the fullest every year, once you have kids I feel as though it’s a whole different perspective. As if you are seeing all of these symbolic customs through their little eyes. And through teaching your children about these various festivities, you get to learn so much in the process which I find refreshing and enlightening. So with all of that said, today my family is celebrating the day of love, Valentine’s Day and I decided on two new traditions I would like to incorporate into this “holiday” every year from now on.
I was raised in a household where I only saw any sort of color or decorations when December came and we were celebrating Christmas. We always celebrated holidays like Thanksgiving and my mother always made sure we had Valentines to pass out at school but nothing beyond that. To be perfectly honest we rarely even had any pictures of us kids around the house or on the walls. That all sounds so negative but it didn’t make my mom a “bad mom” it just made me realize more of the kind of mom I wanted to be. I wanted the festivities, I wanted the embellishments and the ornaments and the overload of pictures of my children. And so that’s what I do! So for Valentine’s Day this year instead of just the regular hearts and red&pink decor, I decided to do a little table setting! It’s nothing extravagant but then again, there’s always next year and I plan on making the table arrangements a new family tradition for Valentine’s Day. Why go out to eat and spend tons of money when I could enjoy a home cooked meal at my own table with the ones I love most?
I am a Christian so I can do less with the roses and the expensive chocolates and more with the sharing of gifts that reflect Christ’s love for us. I settled on getting my three and a half year old and my one and a half year old each a container of Play Dough. I am super weird and I love the smell of Play Dough…maybe even as much as my kids love smashing it into my carpet until it dries and I can’t remove it. Even so, I still continue to purchase it because I love that it is a sensory toy and it usually keeps them occupied for quite a while before the whole carpet thing! I knew beforehand that I wanted to add a godly twist to this small gift so I will share it with you!
I put the containers of dough in a little tin box with a couple of other small gifts and their favorite candy to which I pronounced that I would surprise them with their treats in the form of a treasure hunt. This is the second tradition I decided on! My oldest is only three so reading wouldn’t be that successful if I wrote out the clues so after sitting at my computer brainstorming, I found some cute little icons on my Word program. I printed a few of them, cut them out and then placed them in various spots according to the order of the clues. They were simple icons and I even got a little creative on where they would find them. For example, I found a picture of a drum and since they have a play drum set, once my daughter saw the icon she headed to the drums to find their next clue and for the hanger we asked her where she might find those and we were off to the closet to discover what might be waiting for us that would bring us closer to our treasure! My son just chased my daughter around as she went searching for clue after clue and it was adorable! The end result was them finding their treasure in their pretend shopping cart. It was so much fun and even my husband enjoyed it. It is definitely a family tradition keeper!
We will be wrapping up this day with a funfetti dip my daughter and I made for dessert this evening. We will be using Teddy Grahams for scooping up the sprinkled yumminess! This recipe will be included in our “Recipe” section. It’s so good so be sure to check it out!
What family Valentine traditions do you have?