I have a confession to make. Valentines Day, is my favorite holiday. I love it in all it’s pink and red and hearts and candlelit glory. All. Of. It. Don’t even say it’s a made up holiday because, duh, all holidays were made up at some point. And don’t even try and give me some malarky about how Hallmark has commercialized the day to sell more cards. I love, greeting cards.
When I was a kid, I read this book about a little girl who threw her family a Valentines Day party every year. From that moment on, so did I. I would invite my mom, dad, and brother up to my room where I would have a table decorated with a festive cloth and filled with goodies (that my mom helped me buy, of course). I distinctly remember there being popcorn balls and fortune cookies (popcorn balls were my jam as a kid).
Now, many years later, I may have grown up, but I’m still that same kid at heart. I still love to celebrate a holiday that is all about telling other people how much you care about them. I still love setting a festive table full of treats. I still love things with hearts on them.
Now that I have a family of my own, I have a few things that I love to do to celebrate Valentines Day. I love to do little, glittery crafts with the boys. I love to buy them chocolate, heart shaped candy. And I love, love, making my stud muffin of a man a special V-Day dinner. We can go out to celebrate the other holidays, but this holiday is all about making him feel loved. Our annual Valentines Day dinners at home are one of my all time favorite traditions.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make someone feel loved. In fact, some of the simplest gestures mean the most, because you don’t have to know someone to buy them a gift of chocolate or flowers. You do have to know someone on a deep level to know what speaks love to their heart. This was a hard lesson I had to learn when Mike and I first got married. I kept buying him greeting cards for every little occasion and would get so hurt when he didn’t respond the way I responded when someone gave me a card. But the thing is, Mike doesn’t care about cards. I care about cards. If I really wanted to show him that I know him through my loving gestures, then I needed to taylor my gifts/actions to his heart.
I asked Mike recently what are a few things I do that make him feel loved. Here is what he said:
- Random affectionate touches. Offering quick back rubs, or running my hand through his hair as we sit on the couch together. Or even, simply touching his arm as I walk by him.
- Making his lunch (with a little note included, of course).
- Sending him a simple “I love you” text randomly while he is at work.
- Purchasing something fun and unexpected when I’m out grocery shopping. This could be a special snack for when we watch a movie together, or surprising him by returning home with Starbucks.
- Being purposeful about finding extra ways to be with him. Mike said he loves it when I simply hang out with him while he is exercising or working on a project in his shop. This is probably the thing that he loves the most. He feels loved when I take time out of what I’m doing to just be in the same space.
This Valentines Day, I have a special meal planned again for just the two of us. It will be things that we both love but don’t usually eat because of the kids. We’ll enjoy a quiet meal that lasts several courses, and ends with something luxurious like home brewed espresso – something that we rarely make time for on a regular basis. After dinner, we plan on going to see a musician friend give a free concert in Akron. I will probably still give Mike a card, just because I can’t help myself. But I know that the expressions that will mean the most to him won’t be what I write, but will be the time I spend with him.
As for the kids, we’ve already had fun creating heart-shaped crafts. These were just for fun. I’m sure Theo will want to pass a few out to family and friends, but they weren’t anything fancy. I literally just gave the boys a box of art supplies and let them have at it. Other than cutting out the hearts, I simply sat back and watched.
I’ll pick up a few goodies from the Dollar Store and put together a basket of treats for them to enjoy all month long. In the past, we’ve hosted a Valentines Day party for our littlest friends, but I don’t think I’ll be up to that this year. Maybe next year.
Never the less, we still plan on enjoying all things glittery, sappy, and sweet. Happy upcoming Valentines Day, my friends!