Today everyone is agog with fluttery hearts over Cupid’s big day.
For people who struggle with food budgets every day, having to think about some special treat for their family might be overwhelming. You might be a single parent with a job-two jobs, even-and money is one issue; time and energy are still issues, as well. Ya gotta eat and making that happen is tough enough without extra pressure over a holiday!
Mother Connie’s advice is this: KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Breakfast might be heart shaped toast with peanut butter and red jelly. Simple enough and cost effective, right? Right.
You might have cranberry juice in the house, especially if you are a WIC user. That’s a festive beverage for a Valentine breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Prepare whatever you have on hand for your evening meal and garnish everyone’s plate with strips of red pepper, arranged in a heart shape. Dessert could be red gelatin. You might like to put red hots into heart shapes atop applesauce. If your food budget will allow, get a box of strawberries and slice them to look like hearts…arrange them on a plate and pass them at the table.
It is not written in stone that desserts must be chocolate or expensive or fancy. Those things stress moms and dads out and might raise expectations for growing kids. Really, less is more.
Many parents lose sleep because they feel they must bake heart shaped sugar cookies. Cookies are fun and fine but they are not necessary and they can stress the food budget as well as the resource of time. People who are working and caring for a family are tired and don’t need more stuff to do or bake! And really, with all those carbs and calories, who needs to eat more cookies? The same is true for cake…
One of the things families could benefit from is to turn OFF the TV and sit around writing notes to one another, listing all the reasons why you love your family members so. The person who comes up with the longest list could win a muffin cup full of chocolate chips, a handful of nuts or a sammie bag full of raisins. The winner could also get the biggest strawberry in that box of berries you splurged on! Valentine’s Day is a great reason to haul out the UNO cards and have a family game night.
Kids don’t need presents or sweets or STUFF so much as they need to know they are loved and cared for. When they grow up they won’t remember the toy they got; they WILL recall the fun they had on Valentine’s Day when the family got together and shared.
Valentine’s Day might be a terrific time to start a family tradition. When our kids were small we were certainly living on a dime but we had a “Valentine Fairy” who brought little red goodies every year. Over the years, they got red toothbrushes, red socks, red pencils, all sorts of trinkets that did not stress the budget. As soon as they got home from school they would check the red laundry basket that the Valentine Fairy had left in the dining room. Nobody got their unders in a wad and everyone felt loved and cherished.
Here’s hoping YOU feel loved and cherished. Each of you Members is such a treasure; we do hope our ideas contribute to the quality of your lives.
Happy Valentines Day to each and every one of you!
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