Our “I Love You” breakfast is one of my favorite family traditions. It’s something I remember and cherish from my childhood–one meal when we used my mom’s precious ruby red glassware that had been handed down from her mom (who also had inherited it somewhere along the way), ate strawberry waffles, received small tokens of love, and enjoyed family time. Sometimes our “I Love You” breakfast was for dinner, some years the special meal got pushed to a weekend close to Valentine’s Day, and once we even got to have our “I Love You” breakfast at my grandparents house.
When I started this tradition for my own family, it was just me and my husband. But I was going to have strawberry waffles! (He doesn’t really like them.) I was going to decorate with red and pink! (Boys don’t really care.) We were going to eat off special dishes! (We didn’t have any.) So maybe my first few attempts at carrying this tradition forward were not unqualified successes, but I stuck with it.
And now, here I am, the night before another Valentine’s Day, with my table all set with our “special” Valentine melamine plates that I got during an after-Valentine clearance sale at Target years ago. My centerpiece consists of the two items of Valentine decor that I own plopped in the middle of the table. I decorated with $4 worth of crepe paper streamers I ruffled with my sewing machine today and some half-price felt hearts from the Target dollar spot. Tomorrow morning I’ll make strawberry waffles (my husband and two of my three older girls will have maple syrup on theirs because they don’t even like strawberry waffles) and my girls will open their little presents.
And they will know they are loved. I hear a lot about how this is a made-up holiday with no merit. I remember making jokes about “Singles Awareness Day” back in college and wanting to not want to have someone to share it with. And I do enjoy doing a little something special with my husband, if schedules and babysitters align. But really, I love to do something totally fun for my girls, with no pressure from anyone else to keep up with this or top that. This is just for us.
So I’ve slowly built up my small Valentine stash over the years. We always use the same plates and the small pink and translucent hearts (in the small apothecary jar) in some way, and I add whatever I can find inexpensively each year–the His and Hers mugs are this year’s addition from World Market. One thing I’ve realized–you can never go wrong with festive red and white striped paper straws! One package works for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and the 4th of July. I did suggest this year that we have a different special breakfast item that more family members would enjoy, but that was voted down by ALL.
So this morning I’m getting up extra early to cook breakfast before my kids head off for school. And I can’t wait.
What are your Valentine traditions? Do you make your own cards? Decorate from top to bottom? Share!