Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day at our House

I have wonderful memories of Valentine's Day as a child and I try to pass this on to my children even though Valentine's Day is not really celebrated in our part of Germany. We have a few simple traditions that we began when my oldest was very little and continue year after year. 

A little Valentine's ambience.

The day before Valentine's Day, we bake jam-filled Double Thumbprint Cookies (a Martha Stewart recipe that I found years ago). This is great fun for kids, because you roll the dough into two little balls, press them with your thumbs, and make a pointed end to form a heart. After baking, you then fill them with your favorite preserves. This year, we had lemon curd and sour cherry jam on hand! We make enough cookies for us and each of our kids' classes. (The teachers have started looking forward to us bringing something every year!)

Martha's original recipe torn out and
faithfully preserved in my Valentine's folder.
Our cookies never look quite as pristine as hers,
but we probably have more fun!

Then, on Valentine's Day, we make a special "red" meal together. The staple is always spaghetti with meatballs with sides of red peppers or strawberries or whatever we find that is red. A special red drink of cranberry juice in a sugar-coated rim with a lime slice tops it all off.  I found these ideas in Family Fun magazine when my son was about a year old and they have been a hit ever since. The meal has gotten more fun over the years, because the kids can now help with it. Last year, my son decided we should make heart-shaped meatballs using a cookie cutter, and this year, he took on the job all by himself. 

Our faux Valentine's margarita.
The Family Fun article said, " . . . with this drink,
your kids will feel like a million dollars."
It's true, they do.

Heart-shaped meatballs . . . leave it to my pint-sized
creative genius to think of that one.

"Hurry up, Mom, and take the picture!"

After dinner, we usually read the story of St. Valentine and  1 Corinthians 13 together and talk a bit about what true love and friendship look like. 

I was initially overwhelmed thinking about what traditions to pass on to my children, but I have found that a few simple things like these year after year make a lasting impression. 


  1. I love all your traditions Sheila! So fun how the kids are carrying it out now. I think I'll bookmark those cookies for sure!