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As Valentine’s Day approaches, many couples around campus prepare to celebrate their love. Although the typical symbols like roses, chocolate and conversation hearts retain their popularity, there are some couples who prefer to celebrate the holiday in less-traditional ways.

Dustin Kohli, father of three children, explained that he and his wife prefer to use the day to celebrate all family bonds, not just romantic ones.

Kohli explained that he helps each of his kids write a card for his wife, and she helps each of them write one for him. On the morning of Valentine’s Day, the family exchanges their gifts and notes and expresses gratitude to one another for the love within their home. After school, they all go to dinner as a family.

Although a less-romantic celebration may not be the preferred method for other parents, mother of five young children Lorisa Hirschi described how she and her husband celebrate a non-traditional Valentine’s Day by observing it on either Feb. 15 or Feb. 13. She said it was to avoid the crowds and the hustle.

“It always seems to work out better that way,” she said. “If we choose to go out, the restaurants will be less crowded. If we want to stay in and relax, it’s much easier to find a place to take our kids so that we can have the house to ourselves.”

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Hirschi explained that they celebrated their first Valentine’s Day while dating on Feb. 12 because she and her sweetheart lived far away from each other, and Feb. 14 fell on a work night.

“I traveled up to see him over the weekend, and we had our celebrations early. It worked out so nicely that we decided to just keep doing it that way,” Hirschi said.

Kimberly Thompson is another mother and wife who doesn’t celebrate on the 14th, but for her, it’s not out of choice.

“My husband is a tax man, so he’s always gone for Valentine’s Day. He makes sure to take me out to dinner before he leaves town. But then I focus on the kids,” Thompson said.

She explained how she taught her youngest daughter, Lilly, to send valentines to people who others might not notice. She encourages her to send messages about their character or their positive qualities — not romantic love notes — to help them feel special.

She said that she buys treats with the kids and then they share a nice meal to show them how they ought to treat others.

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