Valentine Experiences

by Heather Durenberger, Tastemaker in Residence

One of my families' favorite Valentine traditions includes homemade Valentines for our dear Aunties and Grandmothers. It’s a special way for us to honor the females in our extended family.

Many years ago as I was preparing the Valentines, I began thinking about the family members who really kept the lines of communication open and healthy. I quickly realized that it was my dear sisters-in-laws who did most of the heavy lifting. They initiate our family connections not only during the holidays but with their fabulous posts on Facebook and other social media. So we celebrate our Aunties and Grandmothers with cards and love notes for Valentines with an extra dash of gratitude. 

Our family has also made a gift giving shift. We choose experiences over more material items; from buying a painting set to purchasing a paint the greats art class. Or instead of a sewing machine we create-be a fashion show shadow designer for the day. Whatever my kids or hubby are interested in, I try to create a learning experience, by doing it. The kids love it and the biggest reward has been the interaction between kids, parents and grandparents. 

As our kids hit their teenage years, we see life moving even faster. So as parents, we want to be relevant and as engaged as we can be. Choosing to spend our time together focused on their interests, has been a great first step.

This Valentines Day, I encourage you to think outside the box as you express your love and devotion. What brings life, love and happiness to your loved one? Then design an experience for them around the answer. Be creative and know it doesn't have to be over the top-just make it fun.

Best wishes for a love filled Valentines Day!