Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and like All Saints Day, we like to celebrate this small holiday in a way which connects to its church history. Though we no longer have access to much history of Saint Valentine (who was likely a conglomeration of more than one person by that name), the church legends associated with him grant much greater meaning to this holiday than the commercialized version would have you know.
Valentine was an early church martyr: this much we know for sure. Supposedly he was killed by the Emperor Claudius on February 14th. Some legends attributed to him say he was performing secret marriages for Christian Romans and Christian Roman soldiers, an act which brought him before the Roman government for trial. Because most court records of Christian trials were destroyed during the Great Persecution, we don’t have much more about Valentine than this.
Valentine’s Day took on the cupids-and-flowers characteristics because of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1400s, whose poems connected Saint Valentine with romantic love. The Victorian era built on this by developing an elaborate Valentine’s celebration focused on gifts to one’s lover (now called “your valentine”).
Today, we mostly know Valentine’s Day as a season for couples, but when we return to the original memorial – the martyrdom of a Christian man – we see a much deeper meaning. Here are a few things we do as a family to celebrate this holiday and brighten the dreary winter months!
My girls are homeschooled, so most of their interaction with their friends is through homeschool groups and play dates. This year, we picked out some valentine cards at the store (Frozen themed, of course) and mailed them to friends, family, and people who won’t get out for the holiday.
Make Pancakes and Cookies
Our Valentine tradition is pink pancakes with whipped cream and sprinkles! Waffles are fun too. We also make sugar cookies with pink icing to take to our neighbors.
Decorate the House
This connects to our craft-making, which I mention below, but I intentionally choose crafts that can serve double duty as decor. This year we made vases and paper chains, and I bought a balloon kit from Target to hang on our chalkboard wall. We also made a fun foam heart table runner and got a mailbox for leaving love notes to each other!
Make Valentine Crafts
Since we try to focus our V-Day on loving others, making crafts is a great way to create something fun to give to neighbors and grandparents. You could put your valentines with these if you don’t want to mail them! I bought flowers to make floral arrangements for the table and had extras to put with our neighborly gifts.
Read Scripture and Liturgy
Our goal in celebrating small holidays is to create family traditions and fun memories, but it’s also to disciple the kids in the truth. This is a great time to read passages about God’s love and recite liturgy that celebrates Him.
Host a Galentine’s Party
Josh and I always celebrate each other on this day, but it’s quite simple since our anniversary is February 1st. I love to use V-Day to invite single friends over for a brunch with other married girls. We bring a dish to pass and celebrate our love for each other, regardless of relationship status!
I have included all my favorite links, resources, ideas, specific crafts, recipes, and a free Valentine coloring page in the below PDF guide. If you’re looking to integrate discipleship into your Valentine’s Day, it’s all there to help you!
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