I’ve always loved Valentines Day. But not because of all the commercial reasons you would expect. (side note: why is the commerciality of Christmas a thing, but people take a stand on the commerciality of V-Day is beyond me). Anyway, I love V-Day because it is a reminder to show those around you how much they mean to you. Some of you may have read my post on my reasoning for becoming a single parent (back when I completely fulfilled that definition).

When I was growing up, my dad never celebrated it. That’s not to say he didn’t do romantic things. But he was one of the many people who rejected this ‘Hallmark” holiday for its commercialism. I did too for the longest while. More so probably because I never had a partner who celebrated it either. “I don’t need a holiday to show you I love you” was generally what I was told. So I kind of rolled with that view. But now, I have quite the opposite view. I love V-Day!

Why my perspective shifted

My partner is Canadian. Obviously, North Americans celebrate Valentines Day. So we’ve been thinking about family traditions a lot in our home and I think the idea of Valentines Day is really nice because it celebrates “the good” in the world. It doesn’t have to be romantic love.

So I’ve been thinking of ways to build a family tradition around Valentines Day to complement our “bucket filler” family goal for 2019. I realised that I don’t think the commercial objection to Valentines Day can apply in Australia any more. After all, we need only look to other occasions we celebrate like Easter and Christmas to see that commercialism is well and truly a factor in those celebrations. So why do we, as a nation, take a stand on Valentines Day when it’s a day to celebrate love, kindness and each other?

So I changed my view.

Celebrating Valentines Day as Parents - The Coffeehouse Blog - Rose and Tye

Celebrate Valentines Day as a Couple

Curt and I are prioritising our relationship this year and shifting from focussing solely on our children. We had this little epiphany that “it all starts with us, if we aren’t ok then nothing is ok”. So that fuelled a lot of change around our daily routines and goals. It’s also kick started my fitness journey again in a mindful way which is good.

What we gift each other

Cards

My partner gives me a card on Valentines Day every year. He loves giving cards and I love receiving them. We have started this little tradition of gifting each other scratchies or Lotto tickets on V-Day each year rather than flowers.

The Night Picnic

Our second date was a picnic at night. It was at Burleigh Headland and was completely wonderful. It was wonderful for so many reasons. Mostly because it was our first of many joint efforts to create a wonderful night. I brought my favourite hot chocolate (tequila hot chocolate – I’ll share the recipe one day!). He brought some delicious fresh salmon sashimi from one of the local fishmarkets. He also bought little battery-operated tealight candles which were a super cute touch. We sat under the tree and talked for ages watching the waves come in.

Things are a little different now that we live together. But, we still do a night picnic to celebrate Valentines Day. Just now it’s in the backyard. It’s still as nice. I make some drinks, Curt makes some food. We sit out, phoneless, and talk. It’s such a nice way to spend a night and has become a lovely, gentle tradition in our home.

Our Gratitude Jar

Curt and I have this gratitude jar that I made him some while ago. the idea behind it is that we write down what we are grateful for, or proud of the other person for doing. Whenever we need a boost, we can open the gratitude jar, read a little note in there, and feel more connected and better about life.

On Valentines Day, during our night picnic, we open our gratitude jar and reflect on so much of the good that we are grateful for.

What we gift the kids and what they gift us

We realised that we only really make a big deal of gifts at either Christmas or birthdays or Mother’s Day or Dad’s Day. Every other time, it’s just stuff. So because we’re also trying to create opportunities for being grateful for each other. What better moment than Valentines Day to do that!?!

So, the kids are asked to go and do things to show each other how much their siblings are loved. We call it year round “being a bucket filler”, which is a saying that comes from this book. Anyway, the kids took to the activity with gusto which I had to say surprised me. I figured given how they fight with each other that such a show of love would be maybe a bridge too far for them. But no.

Here are some ways the kids celebrate Valentines Day:

  • Pick flowers from the garden
  • Help with some chores
  • Bake cakes or other treats
  • Buy chocolates for their siblings
  • Write notes to each other
  • Make cards