At our house, the main Valentine’s Day celebration happens at breakfast. I get up early and set a table the kids will think is elegant (read: I use linen and goblets). I light some tealights and sprinkle heart confetti.

The menu varies and can contain pretty much anything we might normally eat for breakfast, but with a romantic/heart/pink spin. The milk is blended with razzberries and something sweet. The waffles are topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The toast is heart shaped. The pancakes have a few drops of red food-coloring added to the batter. Oatmeal is served with brown sugar sprinkled to form a heart. And I’ve yet to try it, but the egg-in-a-cookie-cutter idea would be perfect.

I also leave a small valentine/gift on each child’s plate — and I mean small. A tiny box with some new lip balm/gloss for their coat pocket. Or a new beaded bracelet. One year it was a box of band-aids for each child. This breakfast is no stress for me and has turned into a perfect tradition for our family.



Other ideas I am loving:
In a conversation with some fellow mothers a couple of weeks ago, we exchanged Valentine’s traditions from the homes we grew up in.

-One family would wake to find a Valentine surprise under their pillows.
-Another family gave a book (in lieu of candy or trinkets) to each child on Valentine’s Day.
-In a third family, the father would bring flowers to each of the daughters — Mom would get a big arrangment and the girls might get a single stem. The mother would give something traditional, say chocolate, to the sons.

The flower idea was also something my own father did and I loved it. In junior high and high school, when it seemed like it would be wonderful to have a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, it was reassuring to know there would be flowers waiting for me at home.

egg photo and flower photo from Getty Images