A few years ago, my friend Renee began a Valentine’s Day party for a handful of young homeschool families. She sent out invitations via email, asked each mother to bring a certain ingredient for sugar-cookie decorating, sent out a list of the children’s names, and organized a simple craft. Needless to say, we all pounced on the idea and invaded Wegman’s Cafe with our crew of red-accented preschoolers and babies. To make it worth Wegman’s while, we all chipped in a few dollars and ordered pizzas for lunch. It made for a memorable Valentine’s Day celebration, and gave the girls the experience of making cards for lots of friends and receiving cards from lots of friends.
Next week, we’ll enjoy the third annual Valentine’s Day celebration with a fairly consistent group of friends. It’s always simple, celebratory, and downright fun.
I personally love that the girls have a little bag full of written expressions of friendship, love, and kindness just for them. I add Mommy’s & Daddy’s, Grandmom’s & Grandpop’s’ cards to their collection and we read them all – over and over again – for many days after February 14.
Here’s a tradition to consider…
My dad established this precious tradition when I was a child. We’d come home from school with our white paper bags full of Valentine’s cards and we’d snuggle up to Dad on the couch as he would read our Valentine cards aloud. Dad would take each one out of the bag, unfold it, read it aloud, fold it back up, and return it to the bag. This was like a liturgy to me; it connected me to the other students in my class as I listened to their kind words over and over again, and it connected me to my Dad as he learned the names of my classmates, and took an interest in my childhood community.
In my memory, we read through them every night, many nights in a row. I’d keep my little white bag close by and jump at the chance to savor Valentine’s love over and over again. Regardless of how much the other children meant the messages on the cards, my heart was filled with favor from them – and for them.
So, this year, consider being the mom who gathers a bunch of friends together for a party and looks for the priceless investment tucked in her child’s Valentine’s Day bag.
What Valentine’s Day traditions are important to you??