A Dollar Store Valentine’s Day

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.    Romans 12:10

2.14.18 with word overlayMy kids come up with the craziest ideas. Although I nod my head and say, “Hmmm… maybe…,” I know it’s not feasible to box up their dinners and send them to the starving children in Africa. I also presume Taylor Swift is never going to come to a birthday party, no matter how much we want her to. And, despite appreciating their creativity, I’m positive that building a water slide from their bedroom window to a pool we don’t even have just isn’t feasible.

But every now and then, my kids come up with a great idea that’s actually doable. Jocelyn did just that for Valentine’s Day this year.

She suggested everyone use their own money to secretly buy one gift for each member of our family. Then, in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, we anonymously leave them for each other in our Valentine envelopes. We all loved the idea, and agreed to do it.

So off we went to the Dollar Store. It filled me with such joy to watch my kids wander around the store on their own, with this mission in mind. The thoughtful looks on their faces told me they were choosing items with the likes and dislikes of the receiver in mind. Whenever I checked on them, they’d hide what was in their baskets to maintain the element of secrecy.

What’s been even more fun is how the gifts have been given. Because most items couldn’t fit in the Valentine envelopes, my kids had to think outside the box. Jocelyn left notes with clues that led Zack to where his gift was. Zack drew a map to lead Mason to his gift, but first Zack cut the map up and hid the pieces around the house. Mason set up a baseball diamond in the garage, and then wrote a poem that led my husband there. My husband had to hit a baseball and run the bases before he discovered his gift. And on and on…

In their effort to be creative, my kids took all the focus off themselves, and put it all on each other. What started out as a fun idea, turned into a labor of love: one that reminded them how much joy there is in giving, and just how much they love each other.

This little project was like a big gust of love sweeping through our home. It blew away all the irritation and impatience we felt from being cooped up during the dreariest month of the year. Obviously the gifts we gave weren’t worth much, but the love they inspired was priceless.

Thank you for your wonderful idea, Jocelyn! We plan on making it our new family tradition!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

DSC03213 darker writing

What I received from my Mystery Giver!

Questions for Reflection:

     * What ideas can I help my kids come up with to show their love for each other through small gifts and/or actions?

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4 thoughts on “A Dollar Store Valentine’s Day

  1. Claire, this one is priceless!! It seems your kids have inherited your imagination! It must have been a ton of fun working out this project. Any one who knows your kids knows how much they love each other–I see it all the time. I love family traditions and I especially love this one. xoxo


    • Thanks, Mom! I love these little holidays/celebrations peppered throughout the year, and the love they inspire. Thanks for laying the foundation by doing thoughtful things for all of us when we were kids. Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I love you!


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