Just as we pay off the holiday gifts charged on our credit cards (cash back cards
, of course), along comes Valentine’s Day. Once again we are bombarded with advertisements, this time from jewelry, flower, card, and candy companies. The message is simple: if you love that special someone you should open your wallet and show it.
But remember, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love. Free Money Finance
’s post about the time and financial commitments
of children led me to ponder how we celebrate this special day in our house. With our hectic lifestyles it is sometimes simpler to just buy that toy or special gift, but it’s the special moments that are really important; not just for Valentine’s Day, but everyday.
Here are some simple ways to create those special moments with your children – a more valuable gift than store-bought presents – and save some money to boot:
- Make something special together. It could be an art project (see KinderArt and the Yahoo! Directory), a special meal or dessert, or a poem.
- Tell a special story. It might be a story about your child’s grandparents or a special event when your child was young. Everybody’s family has some interesting characters that have done something interesting, brave, silly, or exciting.
- If you can’t come up with a story about your child or family, create some fiction. Make it about your child and his/her friends or family. LitSite Alaska provides some ideas. You might have the next Harry Potter on your hands.
- Play your child’s favorite board or card game. Better yet, take the time to teach them a new game. Chess anyone?
- Volunteer together. Find something that interests them and volunteer as a family. Is your child interested in animals? Volunteer at the local animal shelter. Do you have a budding environmentalist? Go for a hike and pick up trash at a local park or stream.
- Share your values. Teach your child about love, friendship, and kindness.
- Get active. Teach your child to ice/roller skate, play basketball, or build the foundations for sports.
But most importantly, enjoy the time with your child. Enjoying the moment is infectious. By spending the time to create those special moments, you are demonstrating to your child how important they are to you. That memory will last a lot longer than a box of chocolates.
And since this is a personal finance blog, I feel compelled to encourage you to deposit the $15 you didn’t spend on a gift into your child’s college fund.