By Meika Rouda
I love Valentines Day. It’s my grandmother’s birthday, the day my parents had their first date and the day I got engaged. Any day that is about love and chocolate is worth celebrating. And while I hate the idea of the “Hallmark holiday”, I still love it because it is afterall about love.
In January I decided this was the year I was going to get crafty and make amazing Valentine’s Day cards. I scoured Pintrest for inspiration. On a rainy Sunday afternoon last weekend, I laid out the tools: red yarn, colored paper, scissors, heart shaped hole punch, felt hearts, glue sticks, glitter and let the kids loose, embracing their inner artist. As I watched them plow through the supplies I had to take deep breathes to not freak out over all the tiny pieces of cut paper that were getting everywhere and the immense amount of glue stuck to my dining room table. Maybe I am not a craft maven but instead an OCD clean freak. But once I accepted the mess, it was fun to see them create with absolute abandon and way too much glue and glitter. However, the Valentine’s were not the charmingly hand made variety but instead, a frankenstein-ian example of kids with too many choices making bad decisions in crafting.
So I headed to the mall the next day and revised my strategy at Paper Source. I invested in pre-cut, ready to be assembled Valentine’s Day kits. My daughter made heart shaped glasses for her pre-k class with a sticker for the envelope that said “You Are Spec-tacular” and my son had pre-cut heart’s that he decorated with eyes, mustaches and hats. Thank you Paper Source for providing these incredibly expensive but easy to use tools for people like me who strive to be crafty but just aren’t. This is the glorious in-between where we have the satisfaction of assembling them but without the strain or mess of creating it from scratch. Like buying pre-made cookie dough at the store, which I admit I do all the time.
My son made a special Valentine for a girl in his class but decided not to put his name on it. In the end the lovely Valentine didn’t make it into his distribution bag, she will get a regular heart with goggly eyes and a mustache just like very one else and perhaps never know the secret 1st grade crush that my son is harboring for her. And since you have to bring a valentine for everyone in the class, there is no anxiety about whether you will get one from that special someone, or worse get one from someone you don’t want to. But after the cards have been open and the chocolate eaten and the flowers dead the feeling of knowing someone loves you, and better, that you love someone, remains. That is the real point, to show love everyday and enjoy Valentine’s Day everyday.
Photo Credit: Fly- Flickr member