Most years, for Valentine’s Day, myself and my wife used to go all out. Hotel in the countryside, champagne (she doesn’t like it so more for me) and chocolates.
The whole thing, we tried to keep this going after the arrival of our daughter but budgets, combined with baby sitting availability, mean that it’s not always possible to pull off what used to be a spur of the moment trip without D-day levels of forward planning.
Considering I’m writing the intro to this in the waiting room of a ballet school at some ungodly hour on a Saturday, I imagine it’ll be a number of years before we get back to those days.
So what to do then?
What can you do on Valentine’s Day as a family unit?
I sat down with my better half and after some thought we would like to present to you.
Five things to do Valentine’s Day as a family
1. Make mum a Valentine’s breakfast in bed.
Not sure how I ended up on a kitchen duty there but someone’s got to supervise, our two year old makes a terrible cuppa. Feel free to switch duties every year perhaps. But you can all pile into the big family bed to eat toast together and plan out your day.
*Maybe use real bacon, this stuff tastes like plastic.
2. Take the family on a long morning walk in the country.
You know, one of those really long ones that makes kids tired. Plus you get to hold hands like those carefree couples in the films and if you’re really lucky it’ll be with your other half and not with a sticky fingered toddler.
Obviously you’re going to exchange cards so why not make them? Now traditionally, if you woke up on Valentine’s Day morning and didn’t have a card all ready to present you’d be in hot water. Well, let’s forget tradition and turn it into a Valentine’s Day event. Crack out the red card and the glitter and to hell with the mess! Make a card each, let the kids make one for mum and one for dad. Everyone likes a bit of craft so go nuts.
*In hindsight, I recommend more hearts and less goats.
Heart shaped biscuits.
Get some pre made gingerbread dough (Sainsburys do a really good one) and some heart shaped cutters (or make it from scratch if you like). You can all get lightly dusted in flour whilst you make a tasty treat for after your dinner. The fun doesn’t stop there, you’ve still got to decorate them. Get some smarties and icing pens, if you’re feeling particularly decadent maybe some edible gold spray!
*Bit burnt but fun was had all the same.
5. Paper airplane fight!
I know this ones a bit out there but stick with me on this. You’ve done cards, romantic walk and sweet biscuits. So what’s missing? With toddlers running around there’s not usually time to knock out a Keats standard sonnet so what about a cheeky* love note? Write them on the planes and have family fun chucking them around.
* cheekiness of note limited of course by reading level of children present.
So if you follow this five step plan you should end up on Valentine’s Day evening with some well and truly tired children and some nice family memories.
Now you can do what you’ve both been yearning to do all day….
Get some sleep!