Look, I’ve never been the personality type to get overhyped about unnecessary things. Valentines is one of those “things” for me. It’s a hallmark holiday, in my opinion, put on the calendar to contrive some unnecessary actions one day a year. It’s a day that people seem to feel the necessity to back the truck up on love and affection up and dump it all in one spot.
It can be a fun and special day, no doubt, but may I raise the question of what Special Days' idea has to do with our families?
I would propose families should have a rhythm of showing care and affection to one another consistently rather than sparingly. I think we all agree to the premise, but the consistency aspect can be challenging. So, May I suggest, 1, 7, 30, 365.
1- Daily: Affection & Attention.
This should be a regular pattern for each person in your family. Post-it notes for encouragement. Breakfast ready for someone at the start of their day. A big hug out of nowhere. A 5-10 minute check-in phone call simply to say hi.
7-Weekly: One on One time.
Carve it out on the calendar and set up one on one time for each person in the family. Yes, this could mean you are spending 1-2 hours in your week or more with just individuals, and you have to do that 2-3x. But are they not worth more than NetFlix shows?
30-Monthly: Special, surprise memory-maker.
Do something new or together. A bike ride, a day at the beach. Try a new hiking trail or a cooking class. Be willing to invest in 12 key memory makers in a year for your family.
365-Yearly: A fully documented (photos/videos) family vacation.
Spend extended time together on vacation. These do not have to be elaborate, but I would say make them intentional and valuable to the entire family, maybe even have there be a collaborative planning aspect to the vacation itself by all family members. When the vacation is over, take some pictures of your experience and order a collage book. Over the years, your library grows, as does your memory.
May your family love and care well for each other and hopefully make some new memories along the way.