Family Fun, Holidays

We Believe in a Low-Key Valentine’s Day

I’ve never been one to have strong opinions about Valentine’s Day–

I’ve never hated the holiday (even on the admittedly rare Valentine’s Day when I was unattached), nor have I ever expected mounds of attention and gifts to be lavished on me.

Growing up, my mom would usually make a nicer-than-usual breakfast on the holiday (although my mom ALWAYS made nice breakfasts for us in the morning, so this wasn’t a rare thing), and on each of our plates, there would always be something special on Valentine’s Day—sometimes something small, like a little paper valentine and a box of candy hearts, or sometimes something bigger, like our own bag of Hershey’s kisses or a toy.

No matter our financial situation, we could always expect something, and for me, that was really the fun part—we didn’t care so much about what the surprise WAS, but just the fact that we knew that one was waiting for us was what made the day special.

The key to a successful holiday for me is to make it special (aka, different from any other day) without adding undue stress.

So, herein is my formula for the perfect Valentine’s Day:

(Average-ish Day + Extra Special Touches) – Undue Stress = The Ideal Holiday

I know that for some, our version of holidays wouldn’t be nearly exciting enough—I know a lot of people who thrive on spending a lot of time and attention around special days because that’s something they enjoy.

I am not one of those people.

For one, I’m not crafty.

For two, at the moment (and for the past several years, really), we’ve been in an extremely frugal mindset.

For three, I’d rather spend my time and energy on other things rather than planning something super elaborate for the day. (Or, if I’m going to go all elaborate–which happens twice a decade or so–I’m going to plan something that’s not on the actual holiday, but just around it, so we won’t have to deal with the crowds.)

So yesterday, our special touches went like this:

– A balloon for Raven (which was all the surprise she needed, really, but we gave her some new bubbles, too)
– Valentines for all of us from my folks
– Little gifts from Matt and I to each other (his included a letter to me, which is all I honestly really want most years anyway)
– Raven’s favorite breakfast (creamed eggs over toast)
– A super easy dinner of pizza and salad (a treat for me), and
– Matt’s favorite dessert (cheesecake, of course), which we followed up with three rousing games of Carcassonne, which I’d bought Matt for Christmas and which is, apparently, totally awesome to play with just two people.

Our day included all of the normal responsibilities (watching my friend’s baby all day, doing the dishes, Matt going to work, me attending my hip hop aerobics class at night), but it included *just* enough special touches to make it the perfect kind of holiday.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my two loves—thanks for putting the joy and the delight into each and every day for me (whether it’s a holiday or not)!


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