Family Valentine’s Day Traditions
Valentine’s Day traditions have always been important to my family. My dad always did something special for me and my siblings on Valentine’s Day each year. One year I remember waking up to a teddy bear holding a rose on my dresser. Another year he took two heart shaped tin foil tins, punched holes in them, filled them with candy and then sealed them together with string. It was hanging on my bedroom door when I woke up. Whether it was silver heart shaped bracelet (which I still have) or some other token to remind us how much he loved us, Valentine’s Day was the holiday he was known for. One by one, as each of us grew older and fell in love, my dad stepped back and allowed our boyfriends to take care of Valentine’s Day. He didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. And if by chance the boyfriend didn’t stick around, he’d pick back up and take care of us on the next Valentine’s Day.
When I met my husband-to-be, my Valentine’s Day celebrations became all about romance and love and spending time celebrating our happiness together. Our first Valentine’s Day date was spent at The Melting Pot – a fondue restaraunt in Cincinnati, Ohio. We received commemorative champagne glasses and a chocolate CD, complete with a photo. On our second Valentine’s Day, without a Melting Pot around, I tried to recreate the fondue experience myself. Each Valentine’s Day after that was spent trying to replicate some aspect of that original tradition at a similar fondue restaurant or at home.
As the years continued, we typically opted not to go out on Valentine’s Day. We found service rushed and prices high. The first Valentine’s Day after our eldest child was born, I planned a dinner with special-cut filets and homemade béarnaise sauce. It was the first time I used our china and silver from our wedding and actually lit candles. It would have been perfect…except our baby screamed bloody murder throughout the entire meal. We tried to enjoy our dinner but eventually I had to pick her up and hold her just to stop the screaming. Try cutting steak with an infant in your hand! It’s nearly impossible and definitely a sure way to ruin the romance.
Adding children to the mix definitely changed our Valentine’s Day traditions, but in many ways we still celebrate them. This year, we will continue the tradition that I so loved as a child and do something small for our kids in the morning. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday we will also then spend the rest of the day with our kids. We are smart enough not to go out to dinner so we plan to order take out. Perhaps we’ll open the bottle of champagne that has been sitting in our fridge for countless years and maybe rent a movie. Of course, for dessert we will have chocolate fondue complete with strawberries, bananas, Rice Krispy treats, brownies and whatever other delectable I can come up with. That part is an important family Valentine’s Day tradition.
How does your family celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions you’ve preserved year after year?
- E-family news: Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids: Teaching the Meaning of Love
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Preschool
- Read more posts about Valentine’s Day and posts about family traditions from the Family Room bloggers