Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Butler's Annual Valentine's Family Dinner

A couple of times over the course of our marriage, we have cooked a nice dinner, dressed up and used some fancy glassware for Valentine's Day.  After J was born, I decided I wanted to do it again, but it seemed silly to get a babysitter for us to stay home.  So, our annual family V-day dinner was born!  This year did not disappoint!  First, there was a bit lost in translation that had a fun result.
Me: "So for our special dinner tonight we're all going to get dressed up so you'll need to go pick out what you'd like to wear.
Miss Z's big eyes are getting bigger and she starts to squeal with excitement.
J: I don't know what I should wear. 
Me: You could wear a sweater or a nice shirt.  I can help you later, if I need to.
J: (His eyes start getting really happy all of a sudden.) I don't know if I should be a pirate or Woody (from Toy Story).
Me: No, I don't mean to dress up as a person.  I meant dress up in nice clothes.
J: But you said dress up!?

The definition of dress-up was left wide open this year and it worked out alright!

Miss Z chose a princess with boots and J opted for Woody.

We went with more traditional attire.


Then there is always a fun treat for dessert.  It was a little chilly but not too bad to use the fire pit and I thought I would give the healthier versions of 'Smores try.







I thought they were delicious!

And everyone else agreed!
 And of course once I ditched the heels, miss Z had to give them a try.  


Finally, we used the dinner as an opportunity to tell everyone why we loved each other. With a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old parrot, things were pretty interesting!

In some ways I guess it is a fluff tradition to keep, but I have 3 reasons I plan to continue it.

1) It's FUN! Getting dressed (however you define it) is fun! Using fancy dishes is fun! And special treats are fun!

2) Special dinners and intentional family time is important.  Life is busy and will only become more so.  Now is the time to invest in our family identity, our memories and appreciation of each other.

3) Valentine's Day is saturated with romance and not enough real love.  I fully support romance and celebrating your valentine (mine's pretty great), but everyone will not always have a romantic valentine every year.  Learning to love and celebrate others on this 'hallmark holiday' is something we could use more of rather than more pressure to meet expectations.
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