Valentine’s Day is my absolute favorite holiday. My friend says that it’s because I am an old-fashioned romantic. That may be true; I love lace edged hearts, sentimental inscriptions, pink and red, and all things Victorian style.
We start getting ready about mid January. First, I pull out heart shaped baskets and decorative boxes, candles and glass items to place on my mantle and various tables. Then, around the end of the month, I pull out my huge box of craft items. Now, I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but I like to buy the “stuff”. We have tissue paper, doilies in all sizes/shapes/colors, ribbon, crepe streamers, construction paper, rubber stamps and of course, STICKERS. Sheets and sheets of Valentine related stickers. We make cards with all of these embellishments for family, teachers, and special friends.
When the children were younger, I pull out the shoe boxes that I save from back to school shopping in the fall. These were for the Valentine exchange at school. The children would each have their own decorative style. My son always finished first; he tended to embrace the minimalist technique to get back to his book. However, my daughters would spend quite a while making sure that they use at least one of everything, and striving for perfection. Many times, they would also go back several days later to add more embellishment to their boxes.
Now that they are older, and much too grown up for this, the shoe boxes go straight to the recycling bin. I still pull out the craft items, but the number of cards draped on chair backs and shelves for drying glue has diminished significantly. I feel a little sorry about this, but as long as the materials are out and accessible, somebody will wander into the dining room to do a little creating.
The night before Valentines Day, the restaurant guy and I make an individual card for each child. I tend to focus more on written sentiment and decorating with sticker and glue-ons. He is best at drawing and coloring. These will be on their plates at breakfast, along with a small gift from both of us.
I will set the table with lots of red and pink glassware, dishes and linens; with heart shapes of course. I have a heart shaped waffle maker purchased years ago from Williams Sonoma that is perfect for the day and heart waffles are a traditional favorite. The children always wake up early as though it’s Christmas and are very excited about their festive breakfast; forgetting for a short time, their advanced maturity. It’s just a little thing, we have heart waffles on other days as well. However, the celebration of it plus a fairly short time investment, makes the ordinary, special.
I don’t know who enjoys all of this more, me or them. They are not allowed to get too big for all of this.