Maybe it is because we home school or maybe we’re just a little quirky, but Valentine’s Day has always been a major holiday in our house. Let’s face it– when you have little kids, you have to think up stuff to do. Little kids love shapes, and hearts are such pleasing shapes; it lends itself to a lot of little crafts. I have always enjoyed making valentines myself, so with all the crafts and the decorations all over the house, the build up rivals Christmas!

So for the last two weeks, we’ve been getting ready for “Love Day.” I can really get behind a holiday that is all about sentiment and not at all about shopping! In our family, the tradition is for the parents to give each child a small box of candy (usually chocolate), heart-shaped of course. I make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, and lunch will include a lot of red and heart-shaped food. This year we will have bento box lunches with heart-shaped eggs, rice shaped into a heart, carrots and bell pepper cut in hearts, strawberries, and some kind of meat.

After lunch, we go bowling with friends and exchange valentines. Yes, you read that right, bowling. Our first homeschooling group bowled on Valentine’s Day, and so we still do. My kids think everyone bowls on Valentine’s Day. They also think it is a day off from school and are shocked when their friends are still in school! We will cap the day with a family dinner and then build a big nest in the living room, which we will all crawl into for a family movie with popcorn (and some heart-shaped gummies mixed in).

Somewhere in there we will find time to look over their valentines, eat a heart-shaped cake, and re-read our kitchen hearts. Last week each member of the family wrote a few words about each other on paper hearts that are stuck all over the kitchen cabinets. It is going to be a great day.

Yesterday someone questioned why we go to all this trouble. I said that in my experience, you will never be loved as much as your parents have loved you. No matter where they are when they are grown up, I want them to remember that we love them, always and unconditionally.

Happy Valentine’s Day!