Valentine’s Day for Families Dealing with Cancer
Sharing Love on Feburary 14th
Every holiday will look different when a family has a child or parent with cancer. This compounds by the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next holiday to celebrate amidst these challenges is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Here are some tips for families dealing with cancer.
It’s easy to understand how a child might be disappointed to miss out on typical celebrations at school. However, with the continuing Covid-19 pandemic constantly changing what’s deemed “safe,” your sick child might not be the only one away from their classroom this February 14th. So this year, activities like sharing Valentine’s in class might have to be put on hold. In addition, typical Valentine’s activities for adults, like date nights, might be a health risk. Still, holidays allow us to celebrate each other and recognize the blessing of being together.
The challenges we all face this year give more opportunity for everyone to honor the love between parent and child.
How can a family battling cancer make Valentine’s Day special during such a difficult time? The best thing to do is to focus on love. Instead of focusing on making valentines for classmates, help your child make valentines for family members and/or friends who have joined you in this cancer journey and shown their love in numerous ways.
This Valentine’s Day can remind each family member of the love that carries you through the most difficult days. Whether it’s a holiday or not, when a member of the family has cancer, the primary focus of the family’s resources and energy will always be helping the sick family member get better. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving back the love that was shown to you and your child. Whatever is fun and meaningful for your family is perfect. Below are a few suggestions as inspiration, but the only goal on this Day is for your family to celebrate love.
Connect: Make Cards
Making cards is a classic Valentine’s activity and can be as simple or elaborate as you want. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind your child they are loved and for them to express their love for you, family, and friends. You can mail the cards made or photograph them and post them on a friend or loved one’s social media page. That way, both you and your child can hold onto the cards as a permanent reminder of their sentiments of love. While you make the cards, talk about how much you love each other, and teach your child about the beauty of having a day each year to celebrate love.
While the scissors and paper are out, maybe cut out some hearts or flowers to decorate your house and bring joy to your home or hospital room.
Activity: Bake Heart Cookies
If you are at home and your child is well enough, spend time together, make something, and have a sweet treat. Connecting through a family recipe can be a great way to share love, but if parents or kids aren’t up for making something from scratch, tons of ready-made dough taste just as good! If your child is not up for cooking, family favorites are just as special if they’re store-bought! Maybe try adding unique ingredients like marshmallows or pretzels to a ready-made dough or decorate store-bought cookies with sprinkles or icing.
Working together to make something beautiful, comforting, and yummy will create memories both child and parent can hold forever.
Spread The Love: Paint Friendship Rocks
It is as easy as finding a rock, painting it, and planting it somewhere for someone else to find. Acrylic paint seems to work best. Just remember to seal the paint to the rock — there are sealing sprays available at craft stores — to keep the paint from bleeding from the rock into the environment. As an idea, paint a heart body on the rock. Use a hairdryer to dry the paint. Once the heart is dry, draw arms, legs, and a face. Write a meaningful message on the backside like: Let it Go, You’re Worth it, You Are Loved, Dream, Love, Relax. Now go for a walk and hide them around your yard or neighborhood. The rocks are put out there as gifts. Let them go and be a gift to make someone’s Day.
Document Love: Make a Scrapbook
You can do many low-stress activities as a family to make this day special. Share favorite songs about love, paint each other’s nails, or take some time to go through your photos together and instead of letting them get lost in your cell phone, print them out and make a memory book together. Have your child share a memory of the photo and make a caption. Put lots of hearts around the photos and bring the love as you collect your memories in a scrapbook. The only thing that matters is that you spend time together, celebrating your love. Remember, nothing is more powerful than the love shared between parent and child.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spend focused family time. Just taking a moment to watch a favorite movie, maybe one that celebrates love, and have your child’s favorite snacks. You can also read a Valentine’s themed book and spend all Day together in comfy pajamas. Play games that unite everyone by participating in one activity. Do whatever makes your family feel connected, loved, and happy.
If you want to extend your love beyond your family, a great way to start is to share with someone you know who has a child diagnosed with cancer Here to Serve! When other organizations focus on raising money for research and treatment, Here to Serve remembers that families on a cancer journey need assistance with everyday tasks like laundry, meals, funds, and special events such as holiday preparation and gifts, and much more!
Here to Serve provides countless services to assist families on their cancer journey. If you’re looking for more personal ways to help, consider volunteering or donating to help families on a journey they never expected to take with their child!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Here to Serve!
By Kelly Markus
About the Author
Kelly studied Film and Television and has spent time on sets in Los Angeles. Originally from the East Coast, she has moved back home. Since 2020, she has decided to refocus on writing. Having seen loved ones battle cancer, blogging for Here To Serve is close to her heart.
All information on this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. Always consult a medical provider in your particular area of need before making significant changes in your medical decisions or lifestyle.