No matter what stage of life I’m in, I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I think it’s important to tell others I love them – whether it’s friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, my children, or husband. It’s funny how I’ve noticed quite a progression of Valentine’s Day trends throughout my lifetime:
- When I was a child, the school Valentine Day parties were the best! I loved signing my name to a bunch of flimsy store-bought Valentine cards and then exchanging with all of my classmates. Having punch and cookies during the school day was pretty fun, too.
- When my hormones started kicking in and I wanted a boyfriend oh so much, I had grand visions of romantic Valentine’s Days. If only I had a special someone, I could surprise him with poetry and cards.
- When I actually found my special someone, Valentine’s Days were romantic. Especially once we were married. Finally I could celebrate the day in ways I had only ever dreamed about. Since I had waited many, many years for this reality, I wanted to take full advantage of the holiday. And I did.
- When we had children, everything changed. Especially since our firstborn was just over a week old on Valentine’s Day. Romance changes a lot when two tired lovebirds are soothing a screaming infant. I vividly remember trying to whip together an extensive gourmet meal – as a new mom. I couldn’t understand why my newborn son wouldn’t stop screaming from 4 to 6 p.m., right as I tried to make supper. Little did I know it would become his daily habit for months. And by the time dinner was on the table and Prince Charming was home, it was a very frazzled Valentine meal.
- Now that my children are older, I’ve experienced a different change. My family celebrates Valentine’s Day together now, to show each other our love. (The ooshie gushie romantic celebrating is saved for our wedding anniversary.) My children and I decorated all of our windows with paper cutout hearts, and we’ll make fun heart shaped food for every meal, craft handmade Valentines, and deliver some freshly baked goodies to our neighbors.
It’s not too late to celebrate!
Even though my circumstances have changed, I think one of the most noticeable differences is my level of planning. Before Children (BC), I spent weeks planning romantic ideas and preparing for the day. Now, I’m winging it. While I do have some sort of a plan, it’s not elaborate. And I’m definitely flying by the seat of my pants.
If you also are a spontaneous celebrator – for whatever reason – I have some ideas for you!
- One super cheap, super quick idea is to make environmentally-friendly crafts. Find some pretty paper (plain paper will work, too) and make a heart shaped stamper out of a emptied toilet paper roll. (Simply squish the cardboard roll to make a heart shape.) Or make a potato stamper out of a cut potato. Stamp hearts with ink or paint and make your own Valentine.
- As I mentioned, cutout paper hearts are quick, easy, and oh so charming. Nothing adds a Valentine vibe to a room like red, white, and pink hearts taped to windows.
- Clear strands of Christmas lights can add a romantic glow. For some extra glimmer, decorate your table with a clear vase filled with shiny red Christmas bulbs.
- Dangle heart-shaped cookie cutters from red ribbon. Hang the hearts from a light or curtain rod.
- If you’re looking for heart-shaped foods, get creative. Make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast. Cut your carrots in the shape of a heart, then dice for a salad or soup. Pile spaghetti on a plate and top with a heart-shaped blob of tomato sauce. Arrange two shrimp on top of an entrée in the shape of a heart. Bake heart-shaped muffins or cupcakes by adding a marble to a cupcake baking cup, then add a paper cupcake liner.
- Arrange some kind of item in the shape of a heart: coffee beans, seashells, popcorn … you name it.
What are some of your quick and simple last-minute Valentine celebration tips?
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day!
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