Breanne Miller, contributing writer 

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to showing our love to others by showering them with flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals and fancy date nights. While I’m not one to turn down chocolate, we could do better on showing our love through actions rather than gifts. With this in mind, I have gathered some low-cost and fun family activities to help us show our love to those who matter most to us.

1. Make mailboxes for each family member. You can make the mailboxes as a fun family activity by decorating them together. Have a stack of paper and pencils nearby, so you can share a kind thought or a special “thank you” and put it in their mailbox. Who doesn’t love getting a box full of love? It will help your family notice those acts of kindness, and then they will do special things for each other.

2. Bake cookies with your family. I know this may not seem that special, but my kids particularly love  spending time with me in
the kitchen. Let’s be honest: This takes patience and usually makes a little more mess, but it is worth it! Once the cookies are finished (and  a few have been eaten), share the rest with others. Deliver them to a nursing home or to a family in need. Use this time to teach your children that service is a great way to show love for others.

3. Spend one-on-one time with each family member. This can be done at any time during the year. Read a book, play a board game or take them out for some ice cream or hot chocolate. It doesn’t have to cost money — just give them some individual attention. Also remember to sneak in lots of hugs and “I love you’s.” This will mean more to your kids than a stuffed animal, and will be a memory you  both can treasure.

Valentine’s Day is a fun time of year for families, and I hope this gives you some fun ideas to do together. But, let us remember: We don’t need St. Valentine to share our love for each other. Let’s use this time to create habits of showing love all year round.