Valentine’s Day—love it or hate it, the sometimes over-commercialized celebration of love and romance happens next week.
You may be perusing Pinterest and getting a bit overwhelmed. Don’t let Cupid make you stupid—you’ve got this. Decide how much you can do, subtract one or two things as a reality check, and let the rest go. Store bought treats are totally fine, seriously. Costco cupcakes “re-plated” on your own paper plates and delivered to the kids’ school is a life hack every mom should embrace.
If you’re single, Valentine’s can be a bit of a reminder of your “unattached” status. But this day celebrating love can be retooled to focus not just on romance but on friendship and family. Why not make it a special day with your kids, or your girlfriends, or even your extended family?
Here are some ideas to brighten up this February holiday, by focusing on your family and your girlfriends (yeah, Galentine’s Day is definitely worth celebrating).
Valentines with Kids
- Here are some wonderful non-candy Valentine ideas for kids from PopSugar. Friendship bracelets, anyone?
- How about some great crafty Valentine ideas using materials from the Dollar Store? Thrifty and sweet! We love it.
- Parenting magazine has a helpful list of some fun kid-friendly activities that are easy on the budget. Cuddle on the couch while watching Charlie Brown’s Valentine video, or share the reasons you love each other around the dinner table—these are simple but sweet.
- It’s winter, but you can still bond by bundling up and getting outside with your kids. Go for a walk, look (and listen) for birds, play in the snow, notice the quiet beauty of winter.
Valentines with your Girlfriends: GALENTINE’S DAY!
Made famous by Amy Poehler’s character from the TV show Parks & Recreation, Galentine’s is a day to celebrate your girlfriends. Here are a few ideas for chick bonding.
- Break out of the “out to dinner” rut. Here are some ideas from HGTV to make the day memorable:
- Huffington Post also has some creative ideas for bonding with your gal pals, from a calligraphy class to aerial yoga.
- Unleash your creativity while you unwind at a painting party. Several local studios including Bottle and Bottega in Schaumburg, and Pinot’s Palate in South Barrington, offer art parties or girls’ night out. It’s both an art class where you can paint, and a party where you can enjoy wine and snacks.
Valentine’s with extended family or friends
Sometimes the cure for loneliness is to focus on others rather than yourself. Ask yourself, who else is feeling lonely, not just on February 14? It may be someone in your family such as an elderly relative, a sister or brother, your mom or dad!
- It’s never inappropriate to let a friend know that they are loved, appreciated and remembered. Why not send candy or flowers to a widowed aunt, your workaholic sister, or your sweet mom? (Um, don’t send flowers to someone you don’t know. That’s just creepy.)
- Another option: offer to shovel snow or run errands to an older friend, neighbor or relative who can’t do these things for themselves. Let your kids help, and experience the joy of giving.
- This compilation of faith-centered ideas offers some great ways to make the day meaningful for kids and family.
- If your extended family is far away, perhaps you’ll want to engage in some community service on Valentine’s Day. Visit a nursing home or hospital (always call ahead first). Here are some additional service ideas from blogger Sandi Schwartz.
How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s)? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page!