Emily Wyckoff

Valentine’s Day – Family-style

So this year Valentine’s Day will be a family affair at our house. We are cutting back on babysitters so we are hunkering down and celebrating family-style. I’ve come to realize that when you are married (or not) and have kids, you have to take your romantic Valentine’s Days when they happen – and it’s not necessarily February 14th. Just like my dad used to say when I was growing up, “Every day is Mother’s Day.”

It kind of makes sense though, and I think this Valentine’s Day is a great time to celebrate love for everyone in the family. So if you’re home with your kids, make it a truly special occasion – it’s a perfect opportunity to show your appreciation and love for each other- without spending a lot of money.

Here are some ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day with the whole family:

Make valentines. My kids love making cards – I encourage them to make valentines for grandparents, older relatives and out-of-town family and stick them in the mail. You can make your own with construction paper, glitter, markers, etc. There are also great websites with lots of free printable cards. Younger kids will get a kick out of personalizing, printing out and coloring their own from websites like or Internet These sites have other fun printable activities for the holiday as well like mazes, word searches, and coloring pages.

Coupon books. Help your kids cut out hearts from construction paper and staple into a coupon “book.” Make them for Mom, Dad, and siblings too – they can range from “Good for one room tidying, upon request – no complaints,” to “Good for one 10-minute uninterrupted turn with my video game,” to “Good for one hug.”

Bake some valentine treats. Heart-shaped cookies (you can just use your favorite Christmas cut out recipe with some pink frosting – try out the Frosted Sugar Cookie recipe from the site) are fun and easy. Valentine cupcakes are always a hit – bake your favorite store bought cake mix, top with frosting and stick on one or more conversation hearts for an added vday touch.

Family dinner. Even though it’s not a romantic dinner with your valentine, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the table look extra special. Dim the lights, pull out the candlesticks, nice china and cloth napkins. An easy way to decorate the table is to sprinkle confetti down the middle and intersperse some foil-wrapped chocolate kisses for fun. Your kids will love it.

Have fun with an easy dinner featuring the color of the day – red. Red soup, red entree, and try Rachael’s version of inside-out chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert! Here are some of Rachael’s recipes that would be perfect for the red dinner:

Quick Tomato and Basil Soup

Roasted Tomato Brushetta

Red French Bread Pizza

Ravioli Lasagna

Chicken Parmigiano with Polenta

Mile High Lasagna

Greek Baked Ziti

Roasted Caprese Spaghetti

Cherry Tomato Spagehtti all’Amatriciana

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

Stuffed Roasted Strawberries

Pull out the old photos: My kids love looking at old photos, so after dinner, pull out the photo albums or fire up the slide show on the computer and take a minute to appreciate your family through the years and I’m sure share a laugh or two. Your kids will enjoy checking out wedding photos or baby photos of them – or you!

Movie Night. Close out the evening with a family movie where love conquers all – some good ones are: Lady and the Tramp, Sound of Music, The Princess Bride, Shrek, Cheaper by the Dozen, and The Parent Trap (new or old). If you are at the Disney Princess stage – all are big on love and romance for sure – Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Cinderella, etc. And if you have older kids you can share some of the all-time romantic favorites – When Harry Met Sally, Say Anything, or Pretty in Pink.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

8 Responses to “Valentine’s Day – Family-style”

  1. dental floss 1953 says:

    love the show and try to watch it every day but i have a problem with the club RR MANY OF THE PASS WORDS SENT DO NOT WORK . NEED HELP

  2. Kristen says:

    We gave up going out as a couple for V-Day long ago. The ideas you shared here are fantastic! I will be definitely going through these to see what we can use for our own Family V-Day night! Thanks!

  3. Katie says:

    I am in the 5th month of my first pregnancy, and this is one of the things that my husband and I are most worried about – losing that time with just the two of us. But we are learning and “just the three of us” might be even more fun if we just open our minds to it!

    Thanks for making it seem like such an adventure!


  4. Brendasue says:

    WOW!!! This really put Valentine’s Day into perspective for me. I love spending time with both my kids, but never thought to include them in this holiday, as it always seemed to be a holiday for lovers. Now, thanks to you, a new tradition will start this year for our family. I love the red dinner menu idea and the movie night, thank you so much for reminding me that celebrating all kinds of love is what Valentine’s Day is for, and what better love than the stongest love of all, the love of our children!!!!!

  5. Ldreamaz says:

    My Husband and I still go out as a couple for Valentine’s Day.. But we make it an early dinner, becasue we always make it a point to get our 4 children a card and some candy and spend the rest of the evening with them. We only have 1 daughter, so my husband always buys her something extra special.

  6. sweet40 says:

    We don’t always celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb.14th. We celebrate any time that we can. We have 5 children so we like to be with them (at least the young ones still). Also, my husband takes the girls out to an early dinner so they will know how they should be treated and nothing less from another man.

  7. Alexandra says:

    hi Rachel Ray I always look on your programs and i wonder when your recipes comes out i want to give my family a *ITALIAN CHILI-CHICKEN* so i wonder when it comes out on your website???

  8. Shellie says:

    This Valentine’s Day I told my husband we were staying home. It was cheaper to stay home and cook then go out.

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