In the USA, Valentine’s Day can be a very big and expensive event (not counting the religious aspects). Folks spend tons of money buying flowers, cards, chocolates, jewelry, expensive dinners out, and so much more. Those things are very sweet and nice but not realistic for my family. Valentine’s Day means something else to us.

To me, this day means love and showing those your care about just how much you love them. You can do this any way you would like. For my family, it means homemade gifts, our favorite meal at home, and a yummy dessert. We all get involved for this special occasion.

I plan out Valentine’s Day crafts for my kids to do that day to give to each other or my husband. They sneak in a card for mommy too. These crafts don’t cost very much because we typically have the supplies on-hand. They range from making heart-shaped cards to heart-shaped collages and poems. These are made from the heart and mean so much more than any store-bought card. We hang them up throughout the house to decorate for our special dinner.

Ahead of time, I ask each child and my husband what they would like to eat for Valentine’s Day dinner and dessert. I compile a list and try to make a whole meal out of their ideas. I also toss in an idea or two of my own. After all, I am the one buying and preparing everything. Honestly, it’s usually pasta. We don’t eat pasta very often but I know it’s a crowd pleaser and easy to make. We always do something chocolate for dessert. If Valentine’s Day is during the week, my husband will be at work. I enlist my three boys to help in the kitchen with the food preparations. They get to learn while cooking and baking.

For dinner, we use special dishes that are for special occasions. We set the table and light candles. It’s like a family date night. We serve one another dinner. We sit together and pray and have a blast. In the past, I have printed out conversation cards that are family-friendly. We take turns asking and answering the questions. We use our manners and speak softly without yelling over one another (we should do this more often!).

Sometimes I will purchase a small gift for each of my boys. These are less than $10 each and isn’t a junk toy. Rainbow Resource Center has a lot of little ideas for these kinds of gifts. I set those out with their dessert. It is fun to watch them act surprised when they receive a small gift.

My husband and I haven’t exchanged gifts of any kind of Valentine’s Day in many years. We like to go out together once in a while on a date and we don’t really need anything anyway. It used to mean so much to receive a gift but I have become very content and practical. Once in a while my husband brings home some chocolate he got on sale. That is the best gift of all! Haha!

Keeping Valentine’s Day simple doesn’t mean it has to be ignored.It actually means doing more meaningful things with your family. Start by making homemade cards and writing poems to each other. It’s such a sweet gesture that will surely be appreciated by the recipients.