It’s Valentine’s Day:: Let’s Stay Home

stay home for Valentine's Day

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at home suits us. If you haven’t yet tried it, it can work for you, too! Whether you are celebrating the day with a romantic partner, your children, extended family members, your best girl friends, or all of the above–there are plenty of ways to show your love to those you care about. It need not be stressful, expensive, or grand. It just needs to be authentic.

Why We Stay Home

It's Valentine's Day:: Let's Stay Home

Raise your hand if you enjoy dining out. {Me: Enthusiastically raising both hands.} But on February 14th, there is not a chance you will find me in a restaurant. You see, I think service, quality, and ambiance are sacrificed on that night; and babysitters are in short supply. This year it also falls on a Friday, so it will be even busier and less appealing. So what is a mom who whole-heartedly loves holidays to do? DIY it!

The Meal

Even before kids, I would gather up my husband’s and my favorite things {steak, chocolate covered strawberries or a decadent cake, and Champagne} and create an intimate evening for two in our very own home.

These days, our Valentine’s Day dinners look a bit different, but we enjoy them at least as much as before. We now include our two children, aged six and eight. Often, our menu still looks the same. Some years we’ve made pizzas. Last year, while living in Santiago, Chile, we ordered our dinner from a local Brazilian chef who delivered it right to our door. I absolutely love cooking, but I know that not everyone enjoys it or is very good at it, so find what works best for you. If that means that you order pizza or pickup something already made to save yourself some time and stress, do it. A happy mom is the best kind of mom. If you want to start a fun tradition, like always cooking breakfast for dinner on Valentine’s Day, that would be memorable as well. Hello, chocolate chip pancakes.

You could also put your focus on making dessert the star of the evening. Make a favorite cake. Pick up a gourmet dessert or festively decorated cupcakes. Set up an ice cream sundae bar {bonus points for red and pink sprinkles}. If it happens to be cool outside, make some s’mores around the fire pit.  

Stay Home and Make It Special

This does not have to be “Instagram perfect.” It should not be expensive or stressful either.

Exchange cards:: handmade or store bought. {Last year, the kids were still not in school because . . . South America, so we took full advantage of our unstructured days to make each other crafty Valentines. Yes, even my husband found time to make them, and his were some of the best–he definitely put the poop emoji on my son’s.} But do I think we will be able to pull that off this year with a full school day and after school activities? Yes. With some planning. We can no longer wait until a day or two before to get crafting.

Set the mood with some tunes.

Get a few decorations. Red heart mylar balloons make a statement and won’t break the bank–get one for each person.

Use red plates or napkins.

Get some simple flowers for the table.

Let the kids drink out of the fancy glasses.

Have a family game night, a dance party, or watch a movie cuddled up together. {Remember, there’s no school on Saturday.}

Pick up a favorite treat or a small gift at the store. This does not mean a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a Valentine-themed stuffed animal. If that is what your people love, go for it. But it’s just not my jam. Good chocolate is my love language. Dark. Preferably locally made. Thankfully, my husband knows this. So, just trust that you know your people and what would make them smile. Do they like Hot Cheetos and craft beer? Is there a book they’re longing to read? Do your kids live for LEGO like mine do? Whatever it is, consider surprising them that day with a simple, yet thoughtful gift. But here’s my one DON’T:: Don’t put pressure on anyone to get you something. If they do, great. If not, there’s always next year. The most important things are not things.

If this is your first year celebrating at home, pour your love into everything you do for those you love. It will not go unnoticed, and there is great joy to be found in doing things for others. Remember, you are sharing this evening with the most important people in your life. Make sure they know it. Show them. Laugh with them. Have fun. Hold them {your children} tight if they still let you. Love, after all, is the reason for celebrating.

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Christy grew up in Cajun Country. After graduating from LSU, she worked as an editor for a Louisiana chef. After Hurricane Katrina devastated her home state, she assisted in the recovery efforts, which ultimately moved her to Houston. Christy and Ryan were married in St. Lucia in 2006. Five years later, after welcoming their first child, Lilla {March 2011}, she became a high school English and Photojournalism teacher. After Flynn {March 2013} joined their family, Christy became a stay-at-home mom. Soon after, the family jumped at the chance to move to Perth, Western Australia. After almost four years, they relocated to Santiago, Chile. Both places {and their wines} hold a special place in her heart. Christy enjoys cheering on her beloved LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints, texting friends in complete sentences, taking heaps of photos, planning vacations, advocating for our planet, and cooking delicious meals in her kitchen.



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