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Date night with the kids because Valentine’s is for families, too

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By Joyce Reyes-Aguila

Spending Valentine’s Day at home with the entire family? This year, the day when romantic love is celebrated worldwide falls on “hump day” Wednesday – a work day, a school day, and on the eve of payday for a lot of the working class.The combination of these factors has understandably made it a no-brainer for some couples to stay at home with their children.

For parents, cooking, washing dishes, and helping with homework will be part of theagenda for February 14. It could even mean collapsing into bed after being so fatigued from a day’s work. Well, we hope to change your mind if you plan to surrender to your daily routine and forego Valentine’s altogether. Yes, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day at home – with the kids! Yes, you can make it memorable without being in a fancy restaurant or buying lavish gifts. The love we feel from our families is incomparable – so should the way we love them back.

  • V-Day treat. Surprise everyone with a simple treat at dinner. You could have heart-shaped cheese for starters or serve rice in this shape as well. While ice cream is always a great option, the occasion truly does deserve a toast. So while the grown-ups enjoy their wine, serve sparkling juices to young ones in wine glasses, too. You can go all out with your table setting by having some red or pink pieces for your dinnerware or table napkins. And yes, have some candles lit by all means!
  • Love notes. Not all of us get to express our love for our family every day. You can leave messages by your children’s bedside that they can read before they sleep. Spend some time during your lunch break writing even a few lines for your spouse and kids. If words are hard to find, find quotes online or take a few lines from well-loved poems like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43).”
  • Finders keepers.Take a cue from Easter! Make it a lively night by hiding a few simple gifts for everyone to find after dinner! These could be cookies, chocolates, or coffee-shop gift certificates shops, if you have more grown-up children. Do not forget to show some love to your house help. Give them small presents. The simple gesture of giving them a slice of cake or glass of sparkling juice will go a long way.
  • Movie time. You can find a new movie to stream for the night. Why not find love stories from years past such as Serendipity, While You Were Sleeping, or American Sweethearts? If you have Disney fans at home, go for Beauty and the Beast or The Princess and the Frog. Or why not let your kids watch the video of your wedding day? From there, you can tell them about your love story and how having them only gave more reasons to make Valentine’s Day more special for your family.
  • Time for games. We are aware it’s a school night but a 30-minute game of charades won’t hurt!Prepare 10 things related to Valentine’s that anyone can do. Or instead of acting, have your family guess your word or words in a minute. Whoever wins gets a special V-Day treat!
  • Play music. This will be more special if one of you can play a musical instrument. While enjoying dessert, sing some of your favorite songs. Don’t forget you and your husband’s song or the song that was played when you walked down the aisle on your wedding day.
  • Connect overseas. Have your kids send a Valentine’s message for their grandparents or relatives they are close to. Small gestures go a long way in letting them know how important family is.

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