"Mad 4 U," "Be Mine," "U Go Girl" are the sentiments found on little sugar candy hearts this year. Every year the sayings change a little to keep up with current ways we express kindness and affection. Over the years"You Groove," "True Love," "Kiss Me," "Fax Me" and "Friends Forever" have been other ways to communicate affection for another. The words can changebut the heart intent remains the same. Valentine's Day is a day about expressing love!
A candlelight dinnera long stem roseor a box of your favorite chocolates often are the ideas that come to mind when we think about celebrating Valentine's Day. When my children were littlemy husband and I didn't live close to any familyand we were leery of trusting our precious children to babysitters. Since a special romantic dinner would not be in our plans for many years to comeI was delighted learn a way to celebrate Valentine's Day with my children.
One of the ministries I did for my local church was to contact visitors and make them feel welcome. Over time and natural to my talkative personality I began going deeper and asked questions to get to know the visitor and to see if they had any prayer requests.
It is funny how we can speak to someone once but remember the details of the conversation for life. This is what happen when I spoke to a lady on the phone about how she celebrated Valentine's Day with her family. She turned the typical couple focused day to a day to celebrate God's loveand at the same time created a family tradition that she continues to this day.
The biggest reason why I loved her idea was because it was a wonderful way to start a family tradition on Valentine's Day. I was always trying to finding creative ways to have happy memories for my children. We ate all green food on St. Patrick's Day. Jesus disappeared out of a homemade tomb on Easter morning with Easter baskets left behind. And during the fallwe had a nighttime candy hunt in the rock area of our backyarda substitute for celebrating Halloween.
This mom of now three grown boys told me how she planned a dinner with her children's favorite mealdecorated table settings and a small gift for each member of the family. She discussed with her children about how God is love and Valentine's Day was a special day to celebrate love. When they were young it was a day of showing her boys how much their parents and God loved them. When they got olderthe tradition continued but included the dates and finally wives.
She said til this day the couples look forward to the special dinner of love celebrated with their family. And that helped me to know this was a wonderful idea. Keeping my family strong boned together centered around our love for God and each other was my dream for a ideal family. And my little guys were delighted to know they would get to have candy and a present with dinner!
I always pick a meal I know every enjoys. In our house that means pizzatacos or chicken nuggets. I would buy foil covered heartscolorful candy to sprinkle on the table and seasonal paper products to set the table. I also picked a small gift for each child and found a way to wrap it up with candy inside.
This was a big hit with my children and we even had a year that we invited a friend's family over to join in our special Valentine's Day celebration. I have not had this special dinner every year. I have learned that life sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions and plansbut taking pictures has help both me and my children to remember these special days.
I am looking forward to planning our Valentine's Day dinner this year. Now that my children are teens it may be one of the last few that we can spend together before dates enter the picture. And who knowsmaybe even then my boys will feel "off the hook" and grateful knowing mom has planned something special so that they will never be caught forgetting to celebrate February 14a day of love.
Remember "God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Sonthat whoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life" (John 3:16NKJV). Now that is the kind of love everyone can joyfully celebrate.
However you plan to spend the day make sure you have a Happy Valentine's Day!