Traditionally Valentine’s Day means wine and chocolate, while both may be good for you in moderation, why not start a new tradition this year?

For families with young children, hold a dance party right in your living room. Aren’t sure of the moves, try some online dance programs for kids such as Just Dance Kids.

Crafts are always a welcome activity. Make a valentine for a relative, neighbor or family friend. Or help our flying friends by making a birdseed heart to hang outside. All you need is cookie cutters, birdseed, and something to bind the seed together such as unflavored gelatin or corn syrup. Be sure to hang them where birds can perch on a branch to peck at them.

Random acts of kindness are a great way to celebrate the life of St. Valentine, whom Catholic tradition says cured a blind girl. Visit a nursing home, hand out flowers, or show your appreciation for local fire fighters, police, or library staff with baked goods,

Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to express love for your fellow human beings, even those you don’t know.

Forego the box of chocolates and give the gift of time together instead. Make a personalized coupon book which can be cashed in for future activities or favors. Purchase tickets to an event you’ll both enjoy or simply bundle up and head outside to snowshoe, ski or skate.

Make dinner together or simply pass the evening in front of the fire – with phones turned off.

If children are having a celebration at school, replace sugary snacks with a healthy alternative such as raisins, grapes, or whole grain pretzels. Stickers, fun erasers or colored pencils are a calorie-free alternative to candy and cookies.

Whatever you do, remember to enjoy the day with those you love.

By: Rachel Narkewicz, RiseVT Promotions Specialist and Michelle Monroe, St. Albans Messenger Executive Editor