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At Home V-Day Dinner

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I’m indifferent, when it comes to Valentine’s Day. If there’s a holiday that involves me coordinating, gifts and decorations, I need it to be on a weekend. But I have children who get very excited about it, I love seeing the Valentines that come home and decorating their boxes with them.

When my oldest kiddos were preschool and younger, we went to Waffle House every year. The one close by would take reservations and go all out with decorations! It was so fun and simple. They stopped that, but we started taking a “fancy”, pink and block print table cloth with us.

During COVID, we adopted the dinner at home idea from Carrie Brock with The Simple Sketchbook. I love how her tradition focuses on family, highlights manners and elevating something routine. So this year, the boys will be making dinner for the girls in our family again. The menu part will be up to them, and the girls will help with an amazing tablescape.

My son has always been an imaginative showman, but this year I think the dinner is going to be epic. I’ve heard this from some other kids in the studio recently, but he’s into wanting a butler. You heard me right. He asked us if you could mail humans because he wanted a butler for Christmas. I mean I do too, but it’s not happening.

My grandmother stayed on us with etiquette and manners. I appreciated that years later. At the time I thought it was kind of stressful and annoying. I need to do better with my kids, now that they’re a bit older and can sit through a meal longer. After working in early childhood, I’ve seen what these kids are capable of. Walking their plate to the trashcan to throw away extra food, putting their cleared plate on the counter, carrying half full milk cups to the counter, then washing their hands, go potty, washing their hands and then making their nap mat. And my kids would act like they can’t clear the table with me at home. I’m not buying it. I’ve seen the inside. So this can be a fun way to practice manners!

It’s really all about presentation with my kids and them feeling heard, seen and loved. They care about a $1.25 push pop, not most of the things I think are adorable (unfortunately). I’ve accepted that. This doesn’t mean I won’t indulge and treat myself too ;) All affiliate links related to this post can be found on my Amazon Storefront!

I go back and forth between scouring the snack drawer and slapping a hot pink heart on them (from a post-it note) the morning of for class valentines and carefully curating play dough, cool pencils, crayons and other artsy things with a custom tag. Really just depends on where the moon falls, how often I’ve played nurse, or if season depression is a factor. I think I’ve finally settled on just giving kids what they want. For my ages, that’s ring pops, gummies, and legos. Maybe I’ll crank out a custom, quirky tag the night before, but I’m going with pre-assembled Amazon and value packs from the grocery store.

Here’s my question for you, and please comment below! I always have a handful of valentines/treats left over. Is there a ministry, treasure box type thing with local counseling centers, etc that could use them?

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