While the idea of a romantic getaway with a significant other may sound like the perfect way to spend Valentines Day, this year it may be impossible to manage. Depending on your unique circumstances, the holiday might not be everything you imagined. Families can still find a way to make the day special; share the love this year with these super ideas!

Give to Others – There is no better time to share your time than on a holiday that can be lonely for others. We have begun making Valentines for our local retirement home as a fun way to give my homeschooled children an outlet for the card-giving bug. I buy several varieties of purple, pink, and red felt to be cut into hearts of different sizes. I allow the kids to glue several together in any pattern they want, before I help them write a Valentine message on each of them. Calling ahead to the nursing home gives me a head-count to plan for, and we take the afternoon to hand out the cards to each resident. It has really helped to light up their day!

Think Healthy – Those of you with a family of brainiacs may enjoy learning more about the human heart and its functions. This is a great time to do a homeschool unit study or just print off some free online materials about exercise, sensible eating, and other healthy choices. Kids can use the time to help you make healthy snacks or create models of the heart out of clay. Every Valentines Day will become a reminder of how precious their hearts are, and how it is important to take good care of them!

Check In – For many families, Valentines Day may evoke feelings that children may not know how to deal with. Divorced or separated parents may find that this is a perfect opportunity to discuss realistic expectations for the highly-marketed holiday. Take time to hear what your children are saying, empathize with their emotions, and allow for an open dialogue about love and relationships. Be sure to let them know that single people should be valued just as highly as those in “romantic” relationships.

No matter what your feelings this Valentines Day, one thing is certain: You love your children, and they need to know that. Taking time aside to give them your attention and perspective will be a gift more valuable than chocolates or roses. There will still be time for romance, if not this year, anyway.