Often, the fondest childhood memories stem from family traditions that are lovingly repeated throughout the years. Growing up, my family tapestry wove a rich heritage colored with traditions. Family traditions, some intentionally designed with an emphasis on spiritual development, while others planned purely for crazy moments of fun, create a sense of identity and belonging. I always refer to traditions as the “We all” of family. In our unpredictable, busy schedules there are always certain things that family members can count on. Those traditions were, and still are, the “We all” of our family.
“We always” go to the Christmas tree farm on Black Friday. We always have devotions on the beach during our family reunion.
We always serve breakfast in bed on birthday blessing days
“We always” do this….(you fill in the blank).
Throughout scripture there are continual reminders and examples of feasts, fellowship, and celebrations. Times of remembrances occurred over and over – traditions.
When most of us think on this subject, we list traditions that have been established around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but we’ve never thought to give each month a memory moment of its own. The power of purposeful traditions stem throughout the entire year, not just a few holidays. Once a month memory moments have power when family identity is woven throughout the ordinary, making them extraordinary. When a level of significance is added to the ordinary repetition of life, a tradition is created.
If you haven’t already established some creative “We all” Valentine’s Day traditions, why not start one this year?
When we savor the small things, our lifestyle embraces the sentiment that the “little things are the big things”, and they don’t have to cost a penny. Here are just a few inexpensive ways you can start a special Valentine’s Day tradition with your family.
Even though Valentine’s Day falls on a week day, there are still some quick and easy ways to make breakfast extra special. Spend an Start the day with these special Valentine’s Day Love Muffins.
Write little notes of affection, or scriptures to encourage, on red and pink construction paper. While the muffins are baking, fold the love notes in half, and attach a ribbon to the top of each message. When the muffins are done baking, insert your special love notes into the tops of the muffins, leaving the ribbons exposed.
Use your own muffin recipe, a store bought one or use my “semi-homemade” Sour Cream Banana Cake recipe that whips up in minutes. The recipe is not important, it’s the combined nourishment of both tummy and soul that’s key.
2. Engage the power of encouraging words with the Ten Things I Love about you free printable cards. Tomorrow, have fun hiding these in creative places. Tuck them in a lunch bag, under a pillow, in a briefcase, underwear drawer or maybe even the cookie jar?
3. One of our children’s favorite traditions has been our Treasure Hunt of Love. I have varied this idea for different holidays, and it’s always been a favorite.
Make this treasure hunt reflect your family’s personality. With a mixture of scripture, clues, and silly verses, this can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. Read more about it here: Valentine’s Day Treasure Hunt of Love.
4. For the rest of the month, continue on with the Hearts of Loving Kindness Tradition. During February, our family’s character/virtue is kindness. By tying the learning of a virtue with a fun tradition, it engages the children’s hearts and encourages them to go “above and beyond” in their serving of others.
Phew, I am just getting started, and could share many more ideas, but hopefully that sparked your creative juices.
I am a tradition gatherer, so even though I have tons of tradition ideas on my blog for every holiday and celebration, I always enjoy trying something new.
Please share any plans or ideas you have for making Valentine’s Day extra special.
I’d love to hear them.
P.S. Honestly, my family is getting their Love Muffins tomorrow, but then I am giving them a rain check until Saturday. We have to be out the door early, and will not get home until well after dinner. I’ve realized that I can’t be a slave to my traditions or “thee day,” and often, flexibility brings freedom. 🙂
Shared by Jen, a lover of traditions, who is in constant pursuit of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.
What a sweet mama. I love muffins too.
Linda Stoll says
All those rich traditions developed over the years are filled with memories that make the holidays what we yearn for!
But as a pastoral counselor, I talk to many women whose traditions have been completely altered or smashed to pieces by broken relationships, painful experiences, death, divorce.
Out of those life-altering experiences, we’ve got the opportunity to make a choice to start new traditions … ones that reach out to those around us who are even in a more desolate place than we are.
REDEEMING VALENTINE’S DAY might give just a bit of hope that all our pain can be redeemed as we reach out to someone else …
Jennifer Schmidt says
You are so right. These traditions, these life choices can begin anew through His redemption.
Julie Sunne says
Great ideas, Jennifer! My kids are all in double digits, but it is never too late to start a new tradition. I might just incorporate one of your great ideas. Praying you are saturated with love on your crazy busy Valentine’s Day.
Kathy @ In Quiet Places Devotions says
I love the simple tradition of making homemade sugar cookies, with lots of pink frosting of course, and I have at least 5 different sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters. Our kids are grown, but they still love our family’s Valentine cookies! I make plenty to share with friends if they bring someone over with them, and sometimes, if timing works out, I let them do the frosting and decorating. ( I like when that works out!)
Jennifer Schmidt says
As a mom, I pray that I can say these same words in a few more years – that my grown children still love to come home and frost cookies.
I love to cook, so I usually handle the meals in our house, but on Valentine’s Day, my husband always makes breakfast. And we always eat it together.
Thank you for sharing the 10 Things I Love about You idea. We are very tight on money, so this is perfect. I always tell my husband I love him, but I never tell him why.
Ann Voskamp says
Great ideas, Jen!
Thank you for encouraging us to such creativity!
I could not read your web site address on the pict. Thanks.. Happy Valentines Day.
Heather Conrad says
Thanks Jennifer! I loved the 10 things I love about you… printed and wrote before our celebration tonight (3 sports on Tuesdays). The power of words, especially those of encouragement, are just priceless. Have a great celebration with your family! We’re off to do our scavenger hunt!
with all the extended family and homes that doe not have square footage to accommodate all in one space for holidays, we have the tradition of having heart days rather than having anyone feel they are not having the actual day wit whomever…..
the little ones have grown up with this idea and are now taking this into their new extensions. it is having tremendously positive results..
summer@ a thirst for God says
Jennifer, how great is your “10 things I love about you”? I love things that come from the heart…and I’m not a great baker, a good eater, not a good baker.
BTW, I really appreciate the PS. So many times I feel this squeeze in my belly that I have to create the most memorable whatever. It can feel like such a major responsibility, instead of an outpouring of love. Thanks for your drawing us away from fear and motherhood legalism! You give freedom with your vulnerability!
I found out I was pregnant on February 14 (9 years ago). It was a time of mixed emotion, as I was only 18, and her Father has never been in the picture. I’ve made Valentine’s between my daughter and I a celebration – of life, and family (her and I).
Thank you for sharing some great ideas – along with the importance of tradition.
My hope is that this, along with each blessed day would bring both of us greater healing and togetherness and love.
summer@ a thirst for God says
THank you Jennifer, I printed out the cards “10 things I love about you” and it made breakfast with heart shaped pancakes so meaningful! Thank you for providing the encouragement and making it so easy!
Beth Williams says
Loved the 10 things I love about you. My hubby and I tell each other daily that we love each other, but don’t usually express the why of that love.
That is a wonderful & clever idea that I will start this month.