Roses are red, violets are blue. Valentine’s Day is coming and there’s so much to do! For those of you with school-aged kiddos, you may not have started thinking about the Valentine’s Day class parties, but the day is fast approaching! We often think of Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate love and romance, but what’s the history behind the cards and roses?
Historians have many theories, but no exact understanding of the true origins of Valentine’s Day. Some believe the day commemorates St. Valentine, a priest who lived in third century Rome. Legend has it that the emperor at the time believed that single men made better soldiers and therefore forbid young men from marrying. St. Valentine thought this act was unjust and performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Another theory suggests that St. Valentine helped Christians escape Roman prisons and was eventually imprisoned himself for doing so. The imprisoned saint was thought to have sent the first “valentine” to a young woman believed to be the jailor’s daughter, who would visit him often. It is alleged that he signed his notes “from your valentine” which is a sentiment still used today.
Whatever the origin of the holiday, nowadays Valentine’s Day is often celebrated by sharing sentiments of love through cards or gifts. If you need some inspiration on how to celebrate the day with your kiddos, try out some of these ideas:
1. Cut out paper hearts and write one reason you love your child on each one (the number is up to you!). Tape the hearts to their bedroom door the night before Valentine’s Day so they awake to your sentiments of love. If you’re short on construction paper, sticky notes work too!
2. You can also write notes on your kid’s snack for the day. Bananas and oranges both have peels that you can write a lovely message on. When it’s time for snack, the peel (and ink) get tossed, but I bet your kid’s smile stays around for the rest of the afternoon.
3. Give your kiddo a coupon for a one-on-one date with you! The date doesn’t have to be elaborate. I did this with my daughter and she chose to have a picnic lunch in the park followed by a bike ride. The dedicated time filled both our hearts and has become a new tradition we both look forward to.
4. Share the love! Consider making some valentines together to deliver to those who may not receive anything otherwise. Think about your local nursing home, your mailman, or a local hospital or fire station. Most will let you drop off cards and some will even let you deliver them personally. This is sure to make everyone feel loved!
5. Look for love! This is a game you can play with your kids at home or as you’re out and about. Have them look around for different ways people are displaying love. This could be two people holding hands, an owner playing fetch with his dog, or someone holding a door open for someone else. Love and kindness are all around!