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Six Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Special This Year

Make Valentine’s Day special and create lasting family traditions this year. Valentine’s Day has always been a family holiday for me. Growing up, my single mom always celebrated Valentine’s Day with me and my twin sister. This was helpful when we were teenagers and young adults. I never worried about having a “Valentine” because I knew I would have someone with whom to celebrate. Even in college, she would send me wonderful Valentine’s Day care packages. Of course, they always included a box of Necco Sweethearts!

Here are six ways you can make Valentine’s Day extra special for your family this year:

Color Coordinate

Lani Inlander of Real Life Style sitting and wearing a white shirt and leather skirt with Ally garnet suede pumps

Ask everyone in your family to wear something red or pink. Most people don’t have red shoes like my Ally classic pumps in Gutsy Garnet (see above). However, most kids and grown-ups have a red or pink shirt. Color coordinating your outfits on Valentine’s Day gets everyone into the holiday spirit without having to buy themed clothing that will be worn once all year.

Cook Something Sweet Together

homemade tiramisu from Raddish kid's subscription recipes
homemade ice cream sundaes in colorful bowls

Make a recipe from Raddish Kids (subscription) that is designed for cooking with kids or a family favorite like “Grandma’s Mac and Cheese.” Let the kids choose the meal and dessert. Kids have so little control these days, and this gets them invested in the experience. We recently made homemade Tiramisu with Raddish Kids for the first time. It was heavenly! Looking for something easier? Make heart-shaped pasta or ice cream sundaes! Top your dessert with berries and chocolate.

Make (Almost) Homemade Valentines

Paper Source sloth valentines

Keep the kids busy in the afternoon making homemade Valentine’s Day cards for each other with construction paper or other materials from around the house. Or…buy one of the amazing DIY card kits from Paper Source. Donuts, Pugs, Sharks, or Sloths? Who could decide?! In addition to making cards for your immediate family, you can also make Valentine’s Day special for an elderly neighbor or kids in the neighborhood. My family plans to give Valentine’s Day cards to their “adopted Grandmas” and other children in our apartment building.

Read the Same Books Every Year

The books Love Monster by Rachel Bright and Happy Valentine's Day Mouse by Laura Numeroff on a grey couch

Create a Valentine’s Day tradition by reading the same book(s) with your family every year. We always read Love Monster by Rachel Bright. You can also find it on YouTube. Our other family favorite is Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse. Both books were gifts from the same family over the years. This goes to show that a book is a lasting and worthy Valentine’s Day gift!  

Decorate for Valentine’s Day

valentine's day burlap banner with gnomes and hearts for Real Life Style

Living in a city apartment, we don’t have room to store a lot of holiday decorations. However, I have noticed how much my kids love pulling out the same decorations every year. This makes me realize that the space we dedicate to holiday decorations is worth it.

You can make Valentine’s Day special with just a few simple decorations you pull out annually. Of course, if your family is crafty, you can make your own homemade decorations every year. We are not that crafty!  I’m considering purchasing this Burlap Gnome Valentine Banner. It would pack away small and burlap is durable enough to last many years.

Share Why You Think Your Family is Special

Pink and red construction paper with bullet points for listing why your family is special for Real Life Style

Get a piece of red or pink construction paper and a big marker. There are two ways you can proceed, depending upon your kids’ ages and attention span. For younger kids, you can ask them what they think makes your family special. Write a heading and a list that you can put up on a wall in the kitchen or on the refrigerator.

If your kids are a bit older, give everyone their own piece of paper with the heading, “Insert name here is special because….” Pass the papers around the table, giving each family member a chance to author an attribute about their siblings, mom, dad, or kids. When your paper comes back to you, you have a list full of feel-good kudos. The kids (and parents!) can post their list wherever they will see it most often, from bedroom doors to bathroom mirrors. Grappling with confidence issues or pandemic-induced depression?  Have other family members call out their positive statements and write down the items on your own list to help internalize the praise.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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