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Valentine's Day Traditions for Kids - Fawn Lily Photography - Victoria BC Photographer

Valentine's day is coming! Now that we have a gaggle of kiddos at home, this day of love means something a little bit different than it used to. Don't get me wrong. I am all about love, and being romanced, and you know, getting OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT THE KIDS, but still, it's different.

Before Noelle was born, the expectation was that V-day is all about ME and US and our love. Flowers and chocolates and gifts and dates were required and I wanted to be wooed.

(Side note: I have ALWAYS had unattainable expectations in relation to birthdays and specials days. I used to cry at all my birthday parties because they invariably would fall short of my Himalayan expectations. Sorry Mom!)

Now that we are a family of six, I am a tired, crazy lady most of the time. My dream Valentine's Day involves a date night where I can nap on the couch, stuff my face with delicious kid=proof chocolate, and hold hands with my eternal sweetheart (I know, aiming high these days!). But also, because I love my kids, and I love holidays, and I love celebrating things, I do try and make the day (and occasionally, the month special for them).

So here you have it:

The Jenkins Family Top 3 Valentine's Day Traditions

1. Love Notes - First things first. Every night February 1st to the 13th, I write out one thing I love about each of my children on a paper heart (I got these cute doily hearts from Michaels) and then I tape them either on their doors or I hide them somewhere for them to seek in the morning. Usually, my level of creativity with the location depends entirely on how long it took me to think of something I love about my children that day (some days it is way easier than others!). They love waking up to a new message from me. And I love seeing the light in their eyes when my love for them is reaffirmed and declared. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, I don't tell me little people how awesome they are often enough. And, they are pretty awesome people.

2. Photo Shoot - This one is likely obvious to you, but I always make sure and do a super fun mini photo shoot with all the kiddos in January and then we print out some of our favourite images and use them to make Valentine's for the big kids to hand out at school and preschool. This year, we did glitter and will be sending little glitter glue tubes with the Valentines. Last year, we did a picture of Noelle handing out a lollipop (forgive the lack of creativity - I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and miserable); and a few years ago, we did a photo session of the kids "baking" cookies and then we included a sugar cookie with each Valentine. It's so much fun to incorporate personal Valentine's into the kids annual Valentine's Day traditions.

3. Fancy Dinner - While my ideal Valentine's Day does NOT include cooking, I do like to take the special opportunity afforded by V-day to prepare a fancy meal with my kids for Daddy and to teach them important skills like table manners, proper table setting, and to not sit on the table during dinner! My kids love to help. It's so fun (and pretty messy) for them to be able to be a part of the meal planning, preparing, and serving. They LOVE to decorate and make things "beautiful" so this is another way I can make Valentine's Day special for my kids without too much extra work (I have to make dinner anyways).

Well, there you have it. These three simple things are what I like to do to make Valentine's Day special for my kids. After dinner, the babysitter arrives, and I get out of the house and make it a special day for my husband too.

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