Contributing Writer: Carla Ackermann from Breathing Deep Where the Air is Thin
Until recently, I always looked at Valentine’s Day as an odd combination of a) a mushy holiday for dating couples; b) a chocolate and greeting card manufacturers’ conspiracy and; c) another opportunity for me to go overly crazy trying to get my kids to make my clever, crafty Valentine’s to give to their classmates. It has never been my favorite time of year. This year, however, I realized that Valentine’s Day can be a family celebration. Our family can certainly use more encouragement to show our love for each other (as I hear the distant sound of two siblings arguing….). So, I’m making an opportunity.
The idea is simple. For the first two weeks in February, have pens and paper available to write “I love you because…” notes to each other. Provide jars or some other labeled container for each person in the family to hold the messages. Take the first few days of the month to have everyone write some notes during dinner. Remind your family that they can write a note any time of day. Hopefully they will catch on and take time throughout the weeks to write down why they love each other. On Valentine’s Day, take some time to sit down together and have everyone read the messages that they received from each other. You might just be surprised at what your children appreciate about you or their siblings!
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For my message containers, I used the much-loved mason jars.
Paint or decoupage plain wood heart shapes (available for a few cents at craft stores) and label each with the name of a family member. Hot glue ribbon to the back of the hearts and the underside of the jar lids.
Put the lid on, allowing the heart to dangle in the center of the jar. Decorate your jar and lid in any other way you desire. Use ribbon, fabric, buttons, pom poms, yarn or whatever you have around.
Then leave the jars, along with some paper and pens, out for your family to use. And finally, start writing some notes of your own to fill the jars!
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