To me, the most meaningful gifts are the ones that someone has poured thought into, rather than just money. Valentine’s Day is about sharing your feelings and making emotional connections with those you love, while finding time to LOVE your SELF healthy and happy as well. A powerful way to do so is by finding creative ways to activate the 5 senses. Here are some gift and activity ideas that will help you tap into them:
1. Make homemade desserts for your food sensitive loved one. They may be free of refined sugar and common food allergens, but believe me, you won’t be sacrificing taste! You don’t have to be living the Paleo lifestyle to enjoy these sweet treats. Here are some recipes I’ve shared previously:
- Paleo candy, free of the top 8 most common food allergens! Choose from dark chocolate truffles, dark chocolate macadamia cups, or fruit snacks.
- Purely Paleo Chocolate Muffins/Cupcakes, also free the top 8 most common allergens!
- Paleo Pumpkin Apple Muffins, free of nuts, dairy, gluten, and grains.
- Paleo Applesauce, also free of the top 8 most common food allergens
- Simple, dairy free, Paleo Ice “Cream,” for those of you who live in a warm climate!
5. Add color and flavor to your plate, and get your kids in the kitchen creating artwork with beet “ink,” by making Heart Beet & Carrot Salad together!
6. Make a homemade meal or dessert from above list, before your loved one gets home. Your home will be filled with a delicious aroma when s/he comes in the door!
7. Fresh cut flowers, or better yet, get a potted flowering plant that s/he can plant when spring comes. It’ll get him or her thinking about you well past this one holiday.
8. Use natural scents, like fresh cut lemon or oranges, to breathe in happiness. You can also place a few drops of essential oil of lavender in a small bowl of water to spread a relaxing aroma as well.
9. Put on your favorite natural fragrance and/or toxin free hand lotion. My daughter and I love Nubian Heritage Shea Butter, infused with Coconut & Papaya! It’s available at Whole Foods.
10. Hugs, hugs, hugs! They are free to give away, but an underutilized expression of affection. Embrace your loved one as long as you can, and feel the warmth as it passes between you.
11. Hold hands with your spouse of young child. Keep your hands away from tech for a while!
12. Enjoy a warm bath by yourself, or with your spouse!
13. Slip into something comfortable. Have a pajama night with your spouse and/or children.
14. Treat yourself or a loved one to a massage, at home or in a spa like atmosphere. Add some aromatic oils, and you have the sense of smell covered too!
15. Create some beautiful artwork together. Finger paint with your children! Design hearts out of clay…
16. Write in a gratitude journal about how thankful you are for your loved ones. Better yet, share your gratitude by writing letters or cards to express love and gratitude. It’s a great activity for children too.
17. Make love. It may sound obvious, but if the kids keep you too busy on Valentine’s Day, then why not make a date for a special night or weekend away?
18. Put on your loved one’s favorite music, or create it together. Sing, dance, play an instrument. Feel the music from your head to your toes!
19. Get out in nature, and just listen to the subtle sounds you hear. Let peace fill your body. Take a walk or go skiing, go for a picnic…whatever works best for you.
20. Read children’s books with your kids. Nothing like a family read aloud to spread love AND learning at the same time! If you’d like to use picture books as a tool for getting your kids to try new fruits and vegetables, here’s an extensive list of related children’s books from my old literacy blog. www.momsinspirelearning.com.
21. Share stories and memories. Really listen to each other.
22. Look your loved one(s) in the eyes when you speak. Limit distractions just for this one day, and really focus on spending quality time together.
23. Fill your home, table, and wardrobe with color. Certain colors, especially bold and bright ones, tend to make you feel happier.
24. Watch family videos, or your wedding video, together. Or look at photo albums! Both make great Valentine’s Day gifts as well.
25. Play games, like Charades, Scrabble, Pictionary, or I Spy, together. Games make great gifts, too!
26. Do a video chat with someone who you don’t see very often. You can even spread the love via technology, if you choose to.
27. Smile! Happy faces, and random acts of kindness, not only warm hearts, but are contagious as well. Could one day spark a healthier, happier year? Hey, you never know.
I could probably keep adding, but I’ll stop here. However you decide to spend the day, don’t forget to leave time to give some kind of gift to your Self too! It doesn’t matter if it’s time spent alone or with others. If you run out of time on the actual holiday, you could set aside time on a different day. After all, before you can love anyone else, you first have to Love your Self.
Make it a happy, healthy week!
Wishing you peace, joy, and sunshine,