You might think I would suggest something really sappy like Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All or something a little hokey like Love Will Keep Us Together or even a classic like Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight, but instead, I'm going with a little known instrumental by Carlos Santana called Mornings in Marin. It's a peaceful piece that features children laughing and really evokes the ideal situation -- a quiet morning of contented joy with family. What more could you ask for?
I considered the classic romantic comedy Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn or even the great animated fairy tale Shrek but I chose something else. A trip to Target confirmed my choice -- there, amidst the red and pink candy and cards was, in special Valentine's Day packaging, my choice for the best romantic family film: The Princess Bride. Sure, it has great sword fights and torture and Rodents Of Unusual Size, but deep down, hidden beneath all the cool stuff, is a tale of true love. As Wesley explains, "Death cannot stop true love; all it can do is delay it for a while."
Sure you could suggest Shel Silverstein's controversial story The Giving Tree or perhaps Robert Munsch's Love You Forever, but in the end I decided on Guess How Much I Love You which offers insight on the difficulty of measuring love while still being entertaining. This classic story is loved by children and adults alike.
I love nice jewelry, especially the kind that is as much a work of art as it is a wardrobe accessory. I designed my wife's wedding ring and love to see jewelry designed by true artists. But having a family means that priorities change and precious metals and gems are not so precious any more. Save a bit of cash for the kids' college fund and get these parent-friendly earrings instead. Featuring LEGO flowers, they'll just look like cute earrings to most people but other parents will recognize them for what they are in a heartbeat.
Sure, you could spend a lot of money to eat a great meal in a fancy restaurant, but that's not what Valentine's Day is all about. It's about the people you care about and sharing the love you have for them with them. So what better way to do that than to spread out a blanket and have a picnic? Don't let the bitter cold of winter dissuade you either -- you can always have your picnic on your bed or on the living room floor.
Bethtt on SXC
While there are a lot of love-themed games and even games designed to, shall we say, stimulate romance, for families there is a lot more to think about than a bit of quick fun. So turn to the old party stand-by, Charades. It doesn't require any equipment or special skills, so even little ones can join in. It encourages creativity, movement, and laughter.
Hysterical Bertha on flickr
There are lots of brands and types of candy -- especially at this time of year. There is cheap candy and expensive, but for a mom or dad, the best choice is one they can share with their kids without feeling guilty for feeding them poor quality chocolate. Yes, I'm talking about the classic Hershey's Kisses. After all, what says love better than a kiss?
Best Kitchen Activity
Get the whole family in the kitchen and in the Valentine's Day mood with this spiffy silicone heart mold pan. You can make six heart-shaped cupcakes at a time -- enough for most families -- and have fun doing it. Let the kids help with the mixing and measuring and don't forget to let them lick the bowl!
Flowers are wonderful to look at, but are they worth the money? Well, yes, they are, if they cheer up you home and make it feel more lived in, more loved in. But whether you purchase flowers from a stand or pick some from your garden, you need something to put them in. That's where this beautiful vase comes in. Made of hand-blown glass, it tastefully shows your love while offering a place for those flowers.
Sometimes, especially when you're apart, a little reminder of the ones you love can turn a bad day into a great one. Slip a picture of your family into this frame and you'll be guaranteed smiles all day long. With heart-shaped cut-outs, it will dress up your photos for Valentine's Day and keep your love on display forever.