Valentine’s Day is steeped in customs and traditions, some dating back to England during Chaucer’s day. In England, for instance, it was believed to be a bad omen for young women if they tracked snow into the house before February 14. This would apparently make it unlikely for them to meet their valentine any time soon.
Similar to an old Roman tradition, boys used to write girls’ names on papers and put them in a jar. The boy would then draw one of the girl’s names and wear that name on his sleeve. Hence the expression, “Wear your heart on your sleeve.”
Spread the love…
Perhaps you and your children are already making Valentine’s cards for each other, but consider this:
Hospitals and nursing homes. Give your children a variety of paper, foam sheets, glitter, glue, crayons, colored markers and stickers to create handmade Valentine’s Day cards or crafts for people in nursing homes or hospitals. Your family can go together to deliver the cards and crafts, after getting the “okay” to do so from the facility.
Neighbors. Create a “love bucket” filled with special treats such as candy or cookies to give to a neighbor, and then invite the neighbor to continue the tradition.
Before Valentine’s Day, have family members place their name in a hat, and then have each person draw a name from the hat – a “Secret Valentine.”
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, each family member secretly does something nice every day for his or her “Secret Valentine,” without revealing who they are. For example, make your Valentine’s bed while they’re showering, do their chores while they’re away from the house, hide secret notes under their pillow, tuck surprise presents in a pocket or lunchbox or shoe.
At a special Valentine’s meal, everyone reveals his or her identity.
Send “love letters”…
Each year, write a “love letter” to each child, saying how much you love and appreciate him or her. Drop the letter into the mail a few days before Valentine’s Day. Save the letter after your child has read it. When your child is older, return all the “love letters” you have saved. Your child can carry on the tradition by writing (or dictating) their own love letters to their siblings and parents.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to create wonderful new memories for the family. Get together, get creative and get started!