Thursday, February 9, 2012


Holidays always catch me off guard. Not Christmas, a holiday so massive in our culture it overwhelms three months of the year. Even more if you listen to budgeting gurus who have you save cash toward Christmas expenses all year (it's a good idea, but is the final proof that Christmas has become too much). But other holidays, to which we give a token nod, sneak up on me. I usually think about Valentines on the 13th, which is too late to put a little card in the mail. Or rather, too late to put a card in the mail and have it arrive on time.

This week I've looked ahead, and have planned some time in our school day tomorrow to make some Valentines and put them in the mail. A timely enterprise. I won't bore you with detailed how-to's. Either these are so simple you don't need them or you can Google it. Here are the crafts I'm planning:
  • Potato stamping. Easy and fun for the six year old.
  • Torn tissue paper hearts added to a card. Trace heart shapes on stiff paper. Tear tissue paper in bits. Mix half glue and half water. Paint glue mixture over hearts, and add tissue paper. Then paint glue mixture over tissue paper hearts. Allow to dry and cut out hearts. I'm thinking, for the detail oriented among us, a bouquet of flowers made this way might be really pretty.
  • Paper cones for Valentine's candy. All the candy my kids need will fit in these. I'm thinking they would be cute in a mason jar on the table as our centerpiece.
  • Brownies or Rice Crispie treats cut in heart shapes with a cookie cutter, with sprinkles. Sprinkles seem to make everything taste better. We'll actually make these on Valentine's Day.
I only have to buy the candy and some sprinkles. Simple and cheap. Next I'll think of a family favorite for dinner and a little something special for my husband, a little something free but thoughtful. He and I go for a Valentine's date after Valentine's Day. We hate the crowds of star-struck lovers in the restaurants.

So it is here. We hate pricey-trashy gifts. We hate crowds of people. We hate the notion that love can only be expressed monetarily. Time, thoughtfulness, and kindness are nourishing soils in which love grows.

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