I have a friend whose father sends her roses every year on Valentine's Day. One year the roses were delivered by a barbershop quartet. I always thought that was the sweetest idea. It always helped her to remember that even on a romantic holiday like Valentine's Day the relationship with her parents was a very important one. She felt loved and appreciated often by her parents and this helped take the pressure off of being single on a day that feels like everyone's in love.
This has me thinking about the importance of showing our children a little extra love on Valentine's Day. I don't suggest you do it because you have to or that you should feel obligated but simply because it will put a little pep in the step of the kids you love, no matter how old they are. Who couldn't use a little extra pep?
Here are a few ideas:
Something they love. You know your child best so stop and think about what they would like most. For my Sonish, it's books. Adding a few bucks to his Amazon account and letting him sink into the next book he's been wanting is a gift of love for sure! Maybe your child is the next Gene Siskel so a couple of movie passes will be easy to pick up and allow them some time with whoever they choose to take with them. If your child's in love with Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber there's nothing like an iTunes gift card to keep them up to date. The best part is that all of these are available online and you don't even have to leave the house.
Time with someone they care about. Give them time with YOU. Often kids are craving time with their parents because we're so busy and while we try to make time for everyone, there just aren't enough hours in the day. You don't have to spend the gift that day but rather give them the gift that day and let them start planning what you'll do together. If you've not seen the "One Kid at a Time" episode of "The Middle" on ABC, I encourage you to check it out. Consider it a cautionary tale on giving each child a full day with you. It will make you laugh and remind you of the importance of having a little one on one time with those you love.
The fun stuff. Check out the dollar aisle at your local Target store. It's the section you walk past right when you walk in. It's full of fun stuff that costs no more than a couple of dollars. Create a little gift basket for your special kid so they know you thought of them. This is especially great for little kids. After all, they're typically more concerned with the box the fancy toy came in so save yourself some money and fill a bag or a basket with some fun toys.
Encourage a budding artist. A box of colored pencils and a sketch pad from your local art store can be a great gift for someone who's taking an interest in art. If your young person would rather participate in the arts than draw consider acting, singing, or dance lessons.
Celebrating a favorite team. Have an athlete on your hands? Check out your local sporting goods store for the latest must-have items. There's a huge variety in all price points and you'll be getting them something they love. Whether it's team apparel, a new soccer ball, or top of the line running socks, the athlete in your life will appreciate begin thought of.
The important stuff. Valentine's Day is never going to be perfect. Your kids aren't going to be as appreciative as you would like them to be and you're never going to give them the perfect gift they'd hoped for. Do yourself a favor and relax. Doing a little something for him or her is just that, it's a little something. It shouldn't be stressful and shouldn't cause more drama. After all, it's really about love.