YOU Magazine - February 2009 - Valentine's Day Alternatives Serving it Up Family Style
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Kathleen Petty     Kathleen Petty
AVP/Sr Mortgage Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
Phone: (907)261-3458 Cell: 223-4440
Fax: (907)929-6699
License: NMLS Unique Identifier #203077
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
February 2009

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Valentine's Day Alternatives
Serving it Up Family Style

Valentine's Day Alternatives - Serving it Up Family Style

Valentine's Day is all about expressing one's love. While it's usually associated with the love between two people, the staff at YOU Magazine decided to take a slightly alternate approach this year. What if we utilized Valentine's Day to celebrate the love we have for our entire family? Read on and learn about some of the great ideas we came up with.

The intention behind Valentine's Day is a good one. No one's arguing that. The problem, however, is it comes along with a lot of pressure. There is the gift to pick out, the card to write, flowers to order, candies to buy, a dinner to arrange, and don't forget about the babysitter. It can be a tall order in terms of your schedule and your budget. And considering our rather challenging economy, paying for things we can't necessarily afford may not be the best idea this year.

That being said, would there be anything wrong with taking a more reasonable approach this Valentine's Day, one that still honors its intention, but is much more cost effective, and includes the entire family? Here at YOU Magazine, we think it's a grand idea, especially since February 14th falls on a Saturday this year. The kids will be home and you basically have all day, or any part of it at least, to plan an activity. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

The Family Brunch
Who doesn't love brunch? The best part is that from sweet to savory, it's a meal that can include all sorts of different foods. We suggest allowing each family member to pick one brunch item. Procure all the ingredients the day before and let everyone take part in preparing the meal. You'd be surprised at how much your kids will enjoy spending this time with you. And don't be surprised if they eat every bite of their heart-shaped pancakes.

The Breakfast Hike
We realize that hiking is not an activity that can be done in every city, especially during the month of February. But if weather and geography permit, it's a great activity to do as a family. Start by finding a local, age-appropriate hiking trail and depending on your start time, you can stop for breakfast either before or after your hike. This could also be a lunch hike. Either way, breakfast and lunch are far less expensive than eating dinner at a restaurant. Don't forget to make reservations. For a less expensive meal, prepare something at home and toss it into a backpack to eat while on the trail.

The Valentine's Project
There are countless ideas for appropriate Valentine's Day projects. One that we're especially fond of is the assembling of a picture album. Many people have old family pictures in need of being organized. If you can relate, today's a great day to get it done. Your family can work on the project and revisit the stories behind the pictures.

Pizza and Movies
This activity is both easy and fun. Allow each member of the family to pick a movie and make a day and/or night of watching the selections. Nothing goes better with a movie than a pizza, so be sure to arrange a delivery from your favorite pizzeria. A batch or two of kettle corn makes for a great dessert.

Game Night
It's the same basic idea as movie night, but make it about your family's favorite board games. You could even throw in small prizes for the winners.

A Valentine's Day Hunt
We do it with eggs on Easter, so why not do it with chocolates and small gifts on Valentine's Day? If there are multiple children participating, make sure to color code the treats so there's no confusion.

A Valentine's Party
Invite your friends and their families over to your home for a Valentine's Party. You can even make it a potluck event if you want. The sky is the limit when it comes to the decorations. In terms of the entertainment, you can organize a raffle or maybe a game that includes guessing the number of red and white jellybeans in a jar. Be sure to reward the winner(s) with small door prizes.

The staff here at YOU Magazine is not trying to talk anyone out of a traditional celebration of Valentine's Day. All we're saying is that if elaborate displays don't quite fit into your lifestyle this year, you may want to think about simplifying things a bit. Creating an activity your whole family can participate in is a great way to accomplish that. After all, gifts and fancy evenings aside, isn't Valentine's Day supposed to be about love?

From us to you, happy Valentine's Day!

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