Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

 How are you celebrating Valentine's Day?

We are doing lots of fun things in our house, including making Valentines to give to friends and family, eating pink heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, and playing a few Valentine's Day games.

This is pretty standard behavior, I think, but I want to be sure that we talk about God's love on this special day as well as romantic love. (I think kids get plenty of exposure to the latter in our society.) So, what to do?

We were off to a great start because in church last Sunday the children all made valentine cards which we will be delivering (as a church) to a local nursing home. We are all excited to be spreading God's love in this way, and the residents are excited to see the kids and their creations!

In our family we are also prepared to be "sneaky" valentines this year, who will be dropping off anonymous messages of love and friendship to our neighbors. (So if you live near us and read this blog, don't spoil the surprise!)

Still thinking about what your family will be up to today?

Check out these links for some more fun Valentine's Day ideas for kids:
Kid-friendly story of St. Valentine and several angel craft ideas
Valentine game and activity ideas
Valentine's Day stories, poems, and recipes

I asked a few kids last week during Children's Chapel about the roots of Valentine's Day- "where did it come from, and why do we celebrate it?" I wanted to know. A few kids had a general idea (maybe it had something to do with God??), but many weren't so sure how this wonderful holiday originated. That's not surprising since History doesn't give us a very clear answer, but I hoped that children would recognize the story of Father Valentine, a early Christian priest who helped young couples marry. Check out this quick video from the History Channel to buff up your own recollection of V-day's origins, both pagan and Christian:

(Note: it's a 4 minute video- please watch it first without your children because you may find that it contains ideas which are a bit "too old" for very young children)

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