5 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year

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I love you. Je t’aime. Ahabak. Te amo. Main tumse pyar karta hoon. Wo ai ni. Kocham Cię. You can say this simple phrase in many languages and there are just as many ways to show it. Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day and love this Sunday 14 February with friends, your spouse or partner, children or grandchildren. 

Going back a few decades to my own childhood, my parents had a few different ways to show us their love. They would make a special breakfast for example and bring it to us while we girls were still in bed. We loved the heart shaped pink coloured pancakes with strawberries and whip cream. It was common in those days for children to buy your favourite cartoon or Disney character designed box of cards and address each card individually to all of your classmates.

So what about this February 14, 2021 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Today whatever we have celebrated in the past has changed. Our kids are no longer in classrooms with their classmates in person. There will be no class parties …but we can still celebrate!

1. Get crafty with a Valentine tree

Buy some glue, glitter, cardboard and various colors of pink and reds to decorate your house like crazy. I decided to do this with my kids this year by making a Valentine tree. Initially it was supposed to be a ‘Vase of Hearts’ as described here, but it grew in size.  We collected tree branches from the street and at the park, took them home and ‘potted’ them in a vase with rocks to keep them from tipping over. Then we cut out hearts, as well as ‘Valentine’s greetings’ and now we have a cheerful festive tree. I added a sprig of Chinese New Year fake flowers, as they match both in colour as well as coincide with timing this year.

2. Have a special meal

You can steal the idea of breakfast in bed for your children and surprise them with some special gifts first thing on Sunday. You could also ask your kids to make you and your spouse a special candlelit meal. This idea perhaps may require some additional pointers along the way from you, but you may just find out that they’d love to organise this event.

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3. Book a Valentine’s Day photo shoot

A photo shoot with your spouse or with the whole family is something that you may not be able to do right now during the MCO, but you can book now and use it later. Here’s a local talent studio that is offering a Valentine’s Day Couple’s Special. And of course there are numerous photographers out there that would be great as well. Have a look here.

4. Let’s bring the movies to your home

Select a fun Valentine’s or love related movie, make lots of popcorn, bring your favourite candy and enjoy your family movie night. Or if you prefer, just with your spouse. Light some candles and make it a little bit more romantic than your normal Netflix evening. Ever After, Titanic, Brooklyn, A Charlie Brown Valentine, Lady and the Tramp are just a few ideas for that special movie night.

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5. Give to a charity

During this MCO time there are so many people and organisations in dire need.  What a great opportunity to bring our kids along with us in generosity. Let’s teach them not just to love those who are close to them, but also those unknown to them, who are in need. It may not be possible to volunteer in person currently – don’t let that stop you. Here’s one place to start your research into giving back as a valuable option for this Valentine’s Day celebration.

So we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. We may be from different cultures where love translates in many different ways. There may be different religious perspectives and backgrounds. But at the core we are all human beings, and each of us appreciates and can share affection. So let’s still celebrate. Happy Valentine’s Day 2021!

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