Give a Little Love Away…

I love Valentine’s Day, but not for the romantic, gooshy aspects of it.

I’ve written before about how my husband and I aren’t traditionally romantic. So, no, we don’t have any plans for tonight. At least, not any that I can share. :)

But why I really love the holiday is for the kids. This is a tradition that my parents started, and I’ve handed it down to my own family: a family Valentine’s Day party!

I always make a special dinner (think: heart-shaped pizza or heart-shaped pasta, Jello-jigglers, hearts, of course, ooey-gooey chocolately dessert, etc.) and set the table in an abundance of red! I make a big deal about it.

And the one thing the kids love the most — we eat by candlelight! They think this is so neat! It’s the only dinner we do this for all year.

Of course, there are special candies for my little Valentine’s (and my big one, too) and a small present or two.

It’s great fun. I love making Valentine’s Day a special family holiday. I’m hoping it will help with pre-teen I-have-to-have-a-boyfriend-for-Valentine’s-Day angst. I know, probably wishful thinking.

But in the meantime, we have fun.

This year, my husband and I have a special goal. We want to have a talk during dinner: about loving people.

Some background: Jason and I are a part of a home church. We get together with a group of friends (really more like family at this point) every Sunday night to sing, read scripture, and talk about God things. Last week, a friend mentioned that she’d read something that week about how loving people is really just putting their needs before our own. It’s insightful, because it means we don’t HAVE to have gooshy feelings for people in order to love them.

That’s one thing our family is all about — loving people.

So, we’re going to set out a challenge tonight. We’re going to challenge our kids (and ourselves!) to really concentrate on putting others’ needs before our own this year. Each night, over dinner, we’ll talk about how we were able to do that.

We want it to become a new family thing.

Here’s hoping it catches on, in little things (like letting big sister pick the TV show to watch on Saturday morning) and bigger things (like standing up for a kid who’s getting teased at school).

That’s what Valentine’s Day is about, after all. Right?

Oh, and this song has been running nonstop in my head since Sunday. Do you remember it?

Give a little love away, give a little love away. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. If you give a little love away, give a little love away, a whole lot of love will come back to you.

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