We are all about making family traditions and family memories that will last our kids’ entire lives. Some of these traditions, so far, are very meaningful, but some are just…well, silly. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that Andy and I don’t particularly “buy into” in the traditional way couples celebrate it. We decided pretty early on after having children that we would skip the candlelit dinner, box of chocolates, sappy Hallmark card, and jewelry and opt for a way of celebrating the love we have for the entire family. So, we started a tradition of letting the kids make decorations, plan and help prepare a “fancy dinner” (aka- something like spaghetti and cupcakes), and then we all dress up and enjoy the love we have been blessed with.
In addition to the fancy clothes and “gourmet” meal, my favorite part of the tradition is the placemats we make for each person in the family. We take turns during the day writing down the reasons we love each person. It started out as a funny way to decorate the table, but has become so special and encouraging to read what others find wonderful about each person.
The kids always look forward to our party, and the past few years we have been able to invite more family members over to share the love. It has been great to extend our silly tradition with others. It has blessed my heart each time I’ve visited my mother-in-law’s cabin this year because she has had her placemat hanging on the fridge since last February.
This year we were even able to invite the kids best friends, who are (coincidentally) their cousins, and they made the party fancier and more fun than ever!
Ultimately, it is so beautiful to be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day, however we decide to do it. It is an opportunity to realize that while it is a pretty secular holiday, it can only exist because of the love of a Savior. We know that without Christ there could be no Valentine’s Day because without Christ there could be no love. We know that He is love. And, I am thankful that:
we love because He first loved us.”
I John 4:19
It is a wonderful thing to love and be loved, and to be able to share that with the world around me. I am grateful that He chose to share the love with me, and is daily equipping me to do the same.