Our Valentine’s Day mailbox

18 January 2021

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, friends! We’ll be celebrating, as has become our custom, with MLK’s favorite meal – an easy access point to talk about his legacy as a family. I’ve found for holidays like this, simply asking, “do you know why you have school off today?” is a helpful beginning to a conversation, too.

I’m much more likely to share about how we celebrated an occasion after the fact rather than in advance of it (because then I can report back with real photos and tips!), but thinking ahead to another holiday, I thought it might be fun to let you in on some of my Valentine’s Day preparations for this year. We’re trying something new!

After bringing home a sweet pink mailbox ($5!!) from a work photo shoot, it was begging to be the centerpiece of our love-day celebrations. Since our Advent calendar doesn’t involve little treats or prizes (just adorable sewn ornaments), and we don’t do Elf on the Shelf, I figured I should have the creative juice to make this happen, ha! The plan is to put the mailbox in a place of honor at the kitchen table, and tuck something inside for the kids to discover each morning. Here are the ideas I have so far (many free or very cheap!).

The absolute cutest Valentine’s Day charcuterie board, created by my friend Kayte!

— New pajamas. The biggest splurge! I got these heart construction ones for Shep and these adorable gingham ones for June.
— A heart-shaped waffle maker (the other splurge at $10!). I haven’t been tempted by any other shaped waffle maker, even as they’ve made the influencer rounds over the last few holidays, but the idea of heart waffles is just too sweet.
— A handwritten love note for each kiddo
— A special after-school or lunchbox snack, like frosted animal crackers
— The beginnings of a heart scavenger hunt. I’m picturing cutting out a bunch of pink and red hearts, taping them up around the house, and then letting Shep find the red ones and June the pink. I’ll put one of each heart in the mailbox to kick things off.
— A muffin box mix and fun cupcake liners (already own!)
— The Jesus Storybook Bible marked to a story about love
— The heart bowls I mentioned. After they open the mailbox, we’ll put their cereal in them that morning!
— Juice boxes. I never buy them, so this will be a fun accompaniment to an after-school snack!
— A new Valentine’s Day book from the library
— Printed off coloring pages from the internets (this one, these ones, this one, and these ones are cute!)
— A bath bomb. As mentioned before, I find the most cost-effective way to go is this set of 12, which I can parcel out for occasions as needed. They’ve never stained our tub and make great colors!
— Supplies to make heart garlands for their rooms (just craft supplies we already own!)
— A game. Literally any game we own (basically, an invitation to play together :))
— A fancy hot chocolate mix – we bought it from a new local food store in our downtown a few weeks ago, but haven’t tried it yet. We’ll do cups in front of the fire after school! Swiss Miss packets would be just as exciting, ha.
— A note to watch a show as an after-school treat. Lots of our favorites, like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Pete the Cat, have Valentine’s Day specials.
— Candy or chocolate, of course!

If you have a fun idea to share, either from an Advent calendar or other similar undertaking, I’d love to hear! Whether you try this idea or not, I hope it encourages you to get creative with what you have, and to remember what I’m preaching to myself: kids get SO excited about the simplest things, and what they want most is my (and John’s) time and attention. I’ve heard it said that love is spelled T-I-M-E to kids, and that’s what I’ve tried to capture with our February fun.

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January 18, 2021 12:08 pm

Goodness, what fun and adorable ideas, friend.
We snagged a fun felt Valentine’s Day garland from Target for our home and adorable Elum cards from Home Goods for the boys’ school friends. Since cards and treasures have to be food-free at school, I was delighted to find the most perfect cards that come with mini erasers and pins. We will also make celebratory cinnamon rolls on the 14th and talk about how important it is to spread love. I think this is a message that feels especially timely right now.
Finally, those jammies! Ah! So cute.
Oh! And the Mouse book about Valentine’s Day is SO cute. We read it every year!

January 18, 2021 2:58 pm

I love this! Just purchased the red mailbox and I’m going to give this a whirl for Feb 1-14, with a book or a bigger treat on the 14th paired with our Valentine’s Day breakfast. Thanks for always sharing your sweet, creative and intentional ideas to celebrate just about everything. :)

Kelly Strawberry
January 19, 2021 7:49 am

So sweet! I love Valentine’s day :) Chickfila in the past has always done heart-shaped chicken biscuits in the morning of Valentine’s Day and for four years running me and Cam have met my parents at Chickfila for breakfast before work to celebrate the holiday with a heart-shaped biscuit. Chickfila would put down a red table cloth and a vase of roses at our table…they really made it so sweet. It became a special grandparent tradition. Now that we can’t eat inside Chickfila and I’m not going to work, it may look a bit different this year but we’ll figure something out :)

January 19, 2021 8:12 am

Em, I love this idea!!! I think we will do something similar. It sounds like such a fun tradition, and it will help us make Valentine’s Day more like a whole season of love and kindness!

Last edited 3 years ago by Melanie
January 19, 2021 8:24 am

I love this! I love Valentine’s Day and was feeling down that my son won’t get to celebrate with friends since his school is completely virtual. I think I’ll copy most of your ideas and make it a fun couple weeks of fun at home!

January 22, 2021 11:33 am

This has inspired me to plan our celebrations. We are doing family love notes, heart shaped french toast, a heart hunt and valentines books for the kids ❤️

Laura B
January 22, 2021 6:52 pm

Love this list!! I would add this cute wooden sign. (Only $5!) We just painted it and it’s now replaced out wreath to hang on the front door. Jason (4.5 years) is very proud of it every time we drive out of the driveway and he sees it hanging there. It was a fun project and will now become an annual decoration in February. https://www.orientaltrading.com/diy-unfinished-wood-conversation-heart-sign-a2-13941206.fltr?keyword=IY%20WOOD%20CONVERSATION%20HEART%20SIGN&directSearch=true

[…] always trying to think of ways to create “magic” for my kids. Here is the link to the original post I read on Emily’s blog, and below I’ll share with you what we are doing each day in […]