One thing I think we all struggle with is showing appreciation. I will be the first one to admit I drop the ball on holiday gifts for teachers, thank you notes to the friendly neighborhood mail carrier and garbage truck driver, and the list goes on. Every year, I say I will get better, and then the time comes and goes, and I have no idea how I missed it yet again. Perhaps it’s due to the busy holiday scramble. Regardless, I decided that instead of stressing out that I yet again had a mom fail, I would turn Valentine’s Day into a day of appreciation. It doesn’t have to be a day about romantic love; it can be a day to show those you care about or you appreciate that you do in fact appreciate them.
I love arts and crafts. My son loves them when they have clear instructions to follow. So I find us a fun, easy-to-understand craft or recipe, and near February 14, we deliver or leave out our small gift to show our appreciation. One year, we opted to set up mailboxes for close family members and made little cards (thank you, Target dollar section!). When we had filled up the mailboxes, we delivered them to respective family members. High five for creativity and going the extra mile! It goes a long way to show a little thought.
Sometimes the people we fail to appreciate the most are the people that we love the most (i.e., parents, spouses, siblings). We found a fun way to let them know we love them to the moon and back:
We cut out hearts in a variety of colors (red, pink, white, purple), and we sat down and wrote kind words, phrases, or something specific about a person that we love. For example, “Thank you for making breakfast” would be a definite Mom appreciation note in my house. Every day, beginning February 1, we took one heart and stuck it to a person’s bedroom door. They woke up to a new heart every day. Talk about starting your day off on the right foot! My son loves this—especially when the door gets so full that it is like a hunt trying to find the new one!
Fair warning: the hearts will stay on your door for much longer than February since they are very much appreciated by the kids! As I’m writing this, I just got the idea to put the hearts on a long string and cover my son’s door frame like streamers so he can walk through them every day. Brilliant! Those won’t come down until Thanksgiving…
Happy Valentine’s Day!