February is upon us! It's the perfect time of year to really focus on making sure that your family knows you love them. What do you do on a regular basis to express your love? What special things do you do to show your love? Do you know how your family feels loved the best? Take the opportunity that February provides and show your family love with the 14 Days of Love challenge. It's a great way to show how small things make a big difference. Have each family member make a mailbox then challenge them to show love to each other for the next 14 days. These should be simple things that you can do for each member of the family on a daily basis. Want to do something special for your husband this year too? Take the 30 Day Love Challenge from the Dating Divas. Even if you only use it for 14 days, you'll love having the extra 16 ideas to use the rest of year.
The most important thing you need to do before you start is know each person's favorites! Everyone's preferences change with time! Be sure you are keeping an updated list of your family's favorites so you can actually give them things they like. For example, I used to love a certain minty candy. Now I think they are okay but because they were my favorite 10 years ago, I still get them from some people. I absolutely appreciate the thought but wouldn't be great to get something you actually loved? Do this favorite survey every February, New Year, or around birthdays and keep yours up to date so you can give your family what they love.
One of the complaints you always hear though when you give someone a survey like this is, "I don't know what my favorite is." Guess what?! You need to know. It is as important for you to know your favorites as it is for others to be told your favorites. You need to know what you like in order to appreciate what you are given. I put ideas with each question in the Favorite Things survey to get you thinking and you can help your family think of more. However, everyone needs to figure it out so they know what they actually like. It's part of knowing who you are. P.S. It's okay to put more than one thing down.
Now you need a place to put all the goodies and Valentines for the next 14 days. You can grab a shoebox or kleenex box and decorate but my favorite way is with 2 paper plates. Cut one paper plate in half and staple them together to make a pocket. If you don't want to stapled it together, you can punch holes instead and use a blanket stitch and some yarn to sew together. Whatever method you choose, be sure the gaps between aren't too big so everything will stay inside! You'll want to color and decorate most of the plate before putting together. Use stickers, washi tape, glitter markers, whatever you can to make it fun. Punch a hole in the top of your plate and hang it on your fireplace like a Christmas stocking. Remember to put names or initials on them so you know where to put which surprise!
Looking for something a little fancier? I love these mailboxes and Valentines by My Computer Is My Canvas.
Things to Give
Now that you know your family's favorite things and have a mailboxes, you need to gather all your supplies. Will you be doing everything homemade, store bought, or a mix? Are you going to do the same thing for everyone or will you try to make each one different? The 14 Days of Love goes smoother when you have everything beforehand so make a plan and prepare. Here are a few great go-to's:
- Favorite candy or drink- Use that favorites list! Have time to personalize them? Use these chocolate nugget wrappers.
- Homemade Valentine- Use old magazines and cut out some favorite pictures or letters. Break out the stickers or even the washi tape. Remember to include their favorite colors!
- Store Bought Valentines- There is something about the little sized Valentines at the store that are so much fun. Go have some fun picking out your favorites or print some off at home.
- Head to Hobby Lobby with their 40% off coupon and grab a kit to make them yourself or give each one a kit to do on their own.
- Balloons- Some stores have mini balloons that you can inflate at home. They come with things inside the balloons that you press to automatically inflate. Heart shaped punch balloons or dollar store helium balloons are really great too.
- Crazy straws
- Color pens, neat pencils, or fancy crayons. Add these coloring Valentines for extra fun!
- Family date night activity- Leave a note in each mailbox inviting everyone to a family date night. Make it a movie night with Amazon Prime's easy access or check your favorite Bowling Alley for deals.
- Act of service note- You can either put in the note something that you did or will do for that person or give them a blank coupon to fill in with what they need.
- Valentine's Day Countdown- This countdown makes it really easy to show a little extra love for your spouse- it includes notes, date ideas, and more.
- Religious Love Notes- Get the church magazines out and make a Valentine that reminds your family that Jesus and Heavenly Father love them. Remember to use these small daily opportunities to reinforce the most important things in your lives.
No matter what you put inside the mailbox, the most important thing is that your family members know you love them. The favorites list you had everyone fill out will give you clues on how they best feel loved. Small little acts turn out to be some of the biggest ways. These 14 extra days of intentional love are something that your family will remember for the rest of year. Use them wisely!