Confession. I love Valentines Day.
I do not consider it a Hallmark Holiday. It really isn’t, there was a St. Valentine you know. (Corny stuffed talking dogs from Hallmark are out of the question though!)
I can remember as a child loving to wear a turtle neck covered in hearts, I remember changing my shoes laces out on my tennis shoes from drab white to rows of red hearts. I remember making mail boxes out of a shoe box to collect the Valentines we would exchange in grade school. We would come home and play “hide the Valentines” with Mom. She would hide them in couch cushion cracks and in between the piano keys. I looked forward to it every year. And I remember at seven years old sitting at the kitchen table with my mom and asking Jesus to be my Savior; all on Valentines Day.
Joel and I have always (except perhaps but once) stayed home on Valentines Day. I have always tried to do something special be it hanging a dozen red heart shaped balloons from the ceiling or setting the table with rose petals and candles. Joel is not big in the romance department but he is more than happy to sit down to a warm meal (on Valentines Day and every day for that matter!) We don’t even have a problem sharing Valentines Day dinner; once it was with a cousin and her fiancé and once with a single mom who had no date for the evening.
In the past I was good about sending my cousins and siblings cards but these days I never remember ‘til the last minute and it’s too late but last year Aidan had a riot making cupcakes for his friends (that have since moved away) and this year we will be taking to goody boxes full of heart shaped candy to two of his friends at church whose Dad is serving in Iraq.
Traditions have been important in our marriage and now with children it is no different. I made the boys’ favorite meal last night – a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots and before hand we sat down to continue a newer Reed tradition. Homemade cards-
I made the rule a few years back that store-bought cards were not allowed in our house. It takes just as much time to sit down and create a beautiful card as it does to stand like a moron in the card aisle for a half and hour opening each card to see if the sentiment applies to the feelings in your heart and then turning it over to see if the price can be applied to the bills in your wallet.
Not having any paper doilies or sparkle hearts in the house I ran to Target after I threw the chicken in the oven and raided the dollar aisle for their little homemade Valentines kits complete with glitter glue, stickers and lots of foil hearts. They were on clearance – 25 cents for TWO!!! Amélie was sleeping (the tail end of a FIVE HOUR NAP!) and Joel and I and Aidan sat down at the dining room table and we each made cards for the three family members and during dinner we exchanged them. The dining room table is covered in silver glitter glue – I have my work cut out for me today.
The time we spent making the cards was magical. Everyone became very quite as we each set out to carefully place our sparkle hearts and stickers in the right spot. Aidan wrote “Dear Mom.” on his in his own little way and Joel and I wrote our little saying of love for each other and the children. It was 30 minutes I won’t soon forget.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to open a velvet box from the jewelers on Valentines Day but I am very content to cherish my memories and to help my children make some of there own. Memories of red and pink, roses, stickers and of course – glitter glue on Valentines Day.