Happy almost Valentine’s Day, Magic Seekers!

So, have you secured your reservation for your five-course prix fixe menu/ ordered 15-dozen red roses/ bought your requisite diamonds yet?

Oh, come on :P.

*ducks as our entire community throws tomatoes at us*

For real though, Valentine’s Day has become so burdened with expectations about how you should act, that it’s become hard to find your way to who you are and how you want to act!

To be clear – no shade if what you really want is a fancy dinner, flowers, and beautiful jewelry! That can be absolutely lovely. Especially if the restaurant is your favorite place or a long-awaited treat, you’re a flower fiend, or the jewelry is extra witchy 😉

Ain’t nothing wrong with this!

But if that standard Valentine’s Day script isn’t quite for you, it’s easy to feel a little adrift on February 14th.

So we’ve put together a list of ways to mark the day that aren’t quite what you see on every TV commercial this week. Little ways to celebrate that are about tradition, connection, and, above all, love and kindness.

1. Hand-Make Valentines – Hand-making valentines is a long-established tradition (like, really long – the Victorians were OBSESSED with custom hand-made Valentines), and one we can really get behind. Grab some of those scraps and magazine cut outs and old construction paper you’ve been saving “for something special” and go to town! It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be heartfelt. Check out some of the Victorians’ gorgeous and strange creations for inspiration!

This is a puzzle card!

And, if you’d like a more contemporary example, check out this AMAZING CARD Sara’s Mom made for her!! :O!

Yes, that is Sara’s face :P.

2. Read Aloud – There’s something surprisingly intimate about reading out loud with someone you care about, especially if it’s a story you really love. You don’t have to read a whole book – though go for it, if you’re feeling it! (Sara and her husband just finished reading all 7 Harry Potter books out loud. #nerds) Consider taking turns reading a favorite fairy tale with your boyfriend or girlfriend (maybe one that especially resonates with your relationship?) or recording yourself reading a special poem for your Mom and sending it to her via Facetime or the Marco Polo video app. Sharing stories and poems is a wonderful way to connect and show that you care, and reading them aloud really takes it to the next level.

(Pro tip: if you’re still hunting for a present for a loved one, a recording of you reading a poem or short story is an AMAZING gift that will knock their socks off!)

3. Cook Your Own Dinner – You’ve probably seen ads all over the place for fancy Valentine’s or Galentine’s or whatever restaurants have decided to call February 14th dinners this year, right? But maybe, this time, you and a friend/ significant other/ family member could make your own special breakfast/lunch/dinner for each other. Sure, sharing your kitchen feel a little awkward at first, but often you’ll find that you get a bit of a rhythm going, and nothing beats the satisfaction of a meal you make yourself… and doing it together can be a real bonding experience!

Add some table decorations too!

This is also a great solo Valentine’s activity. Taking the time to choose a meal that YOU love and make it for yourself, just because you want it, can be a wonderfully loving form of self-care.

4. Get Outside – We know, we know. It’s still cold in the Northern Hemisphere! But we’ve noticed quite a few Spring buds starting to peep through in our necks of the woods, and sometimes there really is nothing like a walk for reinvigorating and reconnecting with others, nature, and yourself. Take your partner, your child, your best friend, your dog, or just yourself and go exploring! Look for weird and wonderful things. Notice little details and bits of beauty that others might have missed. Look for animals. Get out and explore the wonderful world all around us.

This is hard to beat!

5. Be a Random Act of Kindness Ninja – As you know, we’re BIG proponents of the random acts of kindness movement. These are anonymous, completely unexpected, kind things that you do for other people. Take a friend, or go out by yourself, and find something nice to do. If your neighbor has let leaves pile up on their porch, go over and rake them when they’re not home. Donate to a charity under the name of your favorite fairy-tale character (we’ll be doing this one later this week with some of the proceeds from our Valentine’s mini course!) Leave a toy on your co-worker’s desk for their new kitten. This doesn’t have to be something big – any small kindness will do wonderfully (and make you feel amazing!)

Random acts of kindness can be so simple!

So there you have it: 5 different strategies to invite some magic into your Valentine’s Day. If you have other activities in mind, please share them in the comments. And we’d LOVE to see pictures and hear stories if you do any of the items on this list!! Email them to us at carterhaughschool.com or share in the comments or our Facebook discussion group!

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, beautiful Magic Seekers!

P.S. Registration for the “Happily Ever After?: Valentine’s Day Lore, Fairy Tales, and Fairy-Tale Weddings” mini-course closes on February 12th at midnight – that’s TOMORROW NIGHT! Don’t miss this chance to geek out with us and reclaim this fraught holiday in all the best kinds of ways – sign up here!

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