I believe we have established that I like to celebrate holidays. But Valentine's Day has stymied me.
It's not that I don't like the holiday--on the contrary, I do. If I wasn't a fan, we'd just skip it. But I love that we have a day set aside on the calendar for love. For stupid, cheesy, unabashed, candy-hearts-and-flowers love. The world needs that.
No, my problem is finding something we can do, as a family, to celebrate. Something that is special enough to be...well, actually celebratory, but not too much to toss together on a weeknight. Something that doesn't involve showering the kids with more crap that they don't need. Something that can be our Valentine's Day "thing" that will quickly start to carry itself such that I don't even really have to plan it every year.
Pre-kids, we would take the day and just go do something fun--toodle around a museum, make homemade sushi for dinner.
Post-kids, it's been a little more complicated, because a) kids make everything a little more complicated, and b) our first-born kid has a birthday on the day before Valentine's Day, so doing something super-easy like "let's have everyone's favorite pizza for dinner" ends up just being a repeat of the night before.
(And, let's be clear, going out on Valentine's Day? Sucks. I mean, we've done it. But only when we've had grandparents in town who wanted to babysit. We never turn down free babysitters, but I'd rather go out any other night of the year.)
In light of the state of the world it sounds ridiculous, but I've been stewing about it just enough that Sweet Husband and I sat down for a brainstorming session the other night.
And what came out of that, you ask? Milkshakes--this year we're going to try Valentine's Day milkshakes.
If you think about it, it's pretty perfect as a long term tradition. Valentine's Day on a Saturday? We'll go out for fancy milkshakes. Valentine's Day on a random Tuesday after school and late dance class? We'll make some awesome milkshakes at home. It's enough trouble that we don't do it on any other day of the year, but it's not so much trouble that I get tired just thinking about it.
I will report back if it goes well. (And if it's an epic failure, because that's always entertaining, too.) In the meantime, how does your family celebrate Valentine's Day?