This year, I’d like to suggest an outside the box twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day. Normally, February 14th celebrates that special love between a man and a woman. But for the nearly 12 million widowed women in the USA, Valentine’s Day can represent a day of loss. It can also be painful reminder that they are alone for the more than 53 million women raising families by themselves.

Let’s nurture the women who nurtured us, the women who are raising our next generation. Let’s take them out for Valentine’s Day, or spend the evening with them.

Here’s 10 ways to turn the day that ignores those without a significant other into a celebration of appreciation. Enjoy some quality one-to-one time, or gather a posse of your constituents, and celebrate in style.

  1. Host a British High Tea, or a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.
  2. Visit a uniquely themed restaurant. The Victor Café in Philadelphia is staffed by opera singers who burst into song all evening. The Medieval Manor in Boston provides a romp through the Dark Ages with a six-meal course. The Vienna Restaurant and Historic Inn in Southbridge, MA is an entirely Bavarian setting. The Crop Bistro & Bar is a converted bank vault in Cleveland. Find something in your area by researching “themed restaurants.”
  3. Take a creative one-night class that produces something. (Pottery. Painting. Line dancing.)
  4. Have a Spa Night that begins with exercise (yoga or tai chi), moves on to Mani’s and Pedi’s, and concludes with a massage.
  5. Cook together, at home, or through a cooking class (check out Sur La Table). Prepare a meal for yourselves, or a big pot of stew for the local shelter.
  6. Redecorate. Paint walls. Shop for knick knacks and throw pillows. Move furniture. Rearrange wall hangings. Plan it ahead of time, or start early and make it a daylong event.
  7. Gather everyone you know who plays an instrument and have a jam session.
  8. Binge home movies and browse photo albums. Bring a recoding device because trips down memory lane produce new stories that you won’t want to forget.
  9. Get tickets for an event: a play, the movies, a performance, a concert, the ballet, a game, a lecture, etc. Have a meal first, enjoy the event, and have coffee after to discuss what you saw.
  10. Set up an indoor garden in containers. Design the space, purchase what you need, and plant next season’s meal. If you are in a mild climate, keep your mini gardens outside, but you can easily grow veggies inside. The best part is you can use anything for a container. I saw marigolds planted in an old boot once.

You can see from these ideas that Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to nurture your relationship with your own mother. Something unusual and fun will create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you have any other suggestions, share them in the comments so we can all benefit from your wisdom.

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