My Family’s Favourite Valentine’s Day Tradition Only Takes a Few Minutes, but It Means So Much

Getty / Thomas Barwick

There are so many Valentine’s Day activities that I looked forward to doing with my daughter once she was old enough. I remembered baking heart-shaped cookies, receiving flowers, and picking out the cutest red-and-pink outfit for the special day growing up. Yes, the activities were a little superficial and Hallmark-y, but it was fun! And fun is what Valentine’s Day is all about, right?

Last year, I made suggestions for how my family should celebrate the holiday. My suggestions of baking, decorating, and shopping were all turned down by my daughter. When I asked why nothing I suggested was good enough, she responded with one question. She asked me, “What do any of your ideas have to do with love”?

I stopped in my tracks. She continued by explaining that the point of Valentine’s Day is to show the people you care about that they are loved. Going shopping for a pink dress and baking cookies for ourselves does not play into the point of Valentine’s Day. Schooled by a 3-year-old. I couldn’t say that I disagreed with her.

Without being prompted, she told me to write down what she was about to say and proceeded to list off five things she loves about me. It is a piece of paper that I will forever keep and cherish until the day that I die.

On Valentine’s Day, I presented my daughter and my husband with a list of five things I love about each of them. I invited my husband to do the same for myself and for my daughter. I put the lists together and taped them on the back of our coat closet door. That way, we will always be reminded about what it is about ourselves that our family loves the most all year long.

This list-making has become a Valentine’s Day tradition. Instead of exchanging gifts or candy, we exchange meaningful words to build each other up and remind each other just how special and important we are to each other. The lists serve as reminders when we aren’t feeling our best and helps us all feel united and supported.

Now, Valentine’s Day is one of my favourite holidays, and I can’t wait to continue this tradition for years to come.

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