Valentine’s Day is huge in our home. Any way I can celebrate love and teach my children self-love is important to me. Yes, I know for some it’s yet another Hallmark holiday, but this over-the-top mom takes full advantage. Plus, with five kids at home, the likelihood of it being date night is slim to none, so we celebrate it as a family. Here are some fun ways you can celebrate too!

Decorate your home (it doesn’t have to be pricey)

Pinks, purples, and reds fill every corner of our home. My daughters make homemade decorations, and we have other items we’ve collected over the years. The point is to enjoy it, so do as much or as little as you like. Valentine’s Day decor is also great for a backdrop for photos of your family!

Create all the heart-shaped crafts

The Target dollar section, Dollar Tree, and Michaels are our favorites for this holiday. We make sure to buy plenty of supplies for all love-inspired arts and crafts. It’s a fun opportunity to do a big craft together. As a family of seven we always enjoy trying to think of different creative ways to collaborate and come up with one craft. We might buy a big poster board and use our handprints to create a large heart, or we’ll make a tree using our fingerprints for leaves. It’s a fun and messy way to create memories.

Make a fancy meal or indoor picnic at home

We go all out and dress up in our fanciest attire for this creative at-home meal. We have done indoor living room picnics, a tea party, or a small fancy meal that the kids have helped to make. We decorate our table, bring out our fanciest sparkling cider, then pretend we are somewhere special. (Honestly, sometimes this mama gets a little help from the magical food delivery fairy.)

Take family photos!

No need for fancy photographers — all you need is your phone and, if you have one, a tripod (best investment ever!) to take some pictures and capture these moments, these smiles, that we will long for one day. Take advantage of that decor and use it as a backdrop. Mama, get in the picture and not behind the camera today. Capture all the love you are surrounded by — you wont regret it.

Bake, bake, bake

Bake anything you want and cut it into a heart shape. Use icing and sprinkles galore to get festive. If you want a shortcut, buy pre-baked cookies and a variety of toppings to decorate them. Target sells prebuilt gingerbread houses inspired for Valentine’s Day. I am all for anything that makes life easier!

Read a heartfelt bedtime story

End the day with more love. We buy a special Valentine’s Day book ahead of time, and the kids look forward to this special evening. Cuddle together on your bed or on your couch (in Valentine’s Day-inspired pajamas, if you’re so inclined) and read it together as a family. Give all the cuddles and kisses you can.

Nancy is a mom of five girls ages 10 to 1 and a zoo wrangler to two rescue pups, a black lab named Duke and a chihuahua named Pancho. She loves black coffee, hot weather, a bargain, and all things guacamole. Being a mom to five strong little women is no small task. Her bilingual home is filled with all the wonders and joys that chaos brings. On days where she finds a tiny bit of time to herself she writes at As a graduate of Bowdoin College, Nancy has gone from classroom teaching to focusing mainly on the nonprofit education sector. She has had the privilege of working with organizations like Summer Search and Posse, and she has served as a community organizer. Before motherhood, she lived in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom to her five amazing girls and has been happily married to her best friend for the past 18 years (he’s clearly outnumbered). They are excited to raise their first-generation American daughters together while keeping them close to their Guatemalan roots. Nancy is thrilled to find herself contributing to Boston Moms, especially coming from a fear of writing. It’s a testament that it’s never too late to keep dreaming and growing!