Why I Don't Care If Valentine's Is A "Hallmark Holiday"

I am one of those people that happens to love Valentine's Day.  People say it's a Hallmark holiday, to which I say, yeah, yeah, yeah.  I still love it, and I think part of the reason is that I have many lovely memories associated with it.

Who is a chalk candy lover out there?  I actually love those Brach's conversation hearts, but not the mini ones - the large ones are the best.  My mom used to buy them every February, and we would eat them on the way home from Bible study every Wednesday while listening to Nikki Leonti music.  She taught me how to make sure you get a good bag of soft conversation hearts, because who likes candy that can break a tooth?  The trick is to find a bag that looks like it's been vacuum sealed, and when you shake it around the candy doesn't move much.  That is a good bag.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the big conversation hearts at all this year!  I think part of our Valentine's Day date will be hunting them down, because it doesn't seem right to let a year pass without a single conversation heart.

Do you remember those little cartoon Valentine's that you pass out to all the kids in your class?  Those were so fun.  I saw some in the store the other day and was sorely tempted to let the Wyatt and Gwen pick out a box, but (1) it wasn't in the budget, and (2) we really don't have a good place to hand them out.   And really, there is no good place to write a meaningful note, or even just a "hello" on them.  

I remember getting one of those little valentines one year with pencil indents from a note that had been erased.  I had never gotten a personalized Valentine's card from someone outside my family,  much less a boy, so I took a pencil and attempted to shade over the writing so I could see what it said.  You know, like they do with the pad of paper in detective novels.  I was a regular Nancy Drew.

I was pretty sure the valentine giver was trying to tell me that either they or someone else liked me, and I was quite anxious for that affirmation at that awkward point in my life (braces, frizzy hair - the only reason I didn't have glasses was because my mom and dad put me straight on contacts).  But yes, I never figured out the message.  The next time a boy gave me a valentine was when I had my first Valentine's with Derek, and we were engaged, so I was already pretty sure he liked me.  That is still my favorite Valentine's to date.  Everything was fresh and exciting.  It was the start of something special.

Since I wouldn't cough up the money for some store-bought valentines for the kids, we just made some valentines at home instead.  I remember making valentines for all my family members and the occasional friend growing up.  I spent an excessive amount of time getting creative and making the cards "just right".  I'm sure my kids will do the same someday, but for now I just buy heart stickers and washi tape and let them have at it.  Believe it or not, making those simple valentines was the highlight of their day.  I also broke out my watercolors and painted a few hearts on the front of some blank cards to send to some single friends, and I'll use one to write a love note to Derek.

It's nothing fancy, but it's festive.  And isn't the whole point of Valentine's to just take a minute to let someone know that you love them?  It doesn't have to be Pinterest-worthy, you don't have to patronize Hallmark.  It's just a reminder to express our love for our friends and family, and maybe even a significant other.  

Yes, we should show others our love and appreciation all year long, but I am not one to resent a reminder holiday.  It's a nudge to remind me not to leave things unsaid, as they often are in the busyness of daily life.  

That alone makes Valentine's worth celebrating to me.

(Note: I received a copy of "Good Night Little Love" from Tommy Nelson in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.)

To add to the festivities this week, I did buy Valentine's cookies, and I have this new book to read to the kids.  Good Night Little Love is a sweet bedtime book with beautiful illustrations, and you know I love a good rhyming book!  It is a board book, which is almost a must in this house at this stage.  We have many bedtime books (can you ever really have too many?), so it's fun to me to read them seasonally appropriate bedtime books, and though the inside could go with any season, the cover just screams "Valentine's Day".  Look at the red foil hearts!  So cute.  This would make a great Valentine's gift for the kids (I usually get them a little something for Valentine's Day), but they already snagged it and have been looking through it every chance they get, so I'll probably have to come up with something else as an official gift.

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day with your kids?  Do you have any Valentine's family traditions?  Do tell!

(P.S. If you don't celebrate Valentine's Day as a family, I have a post on Friday about why you should, so check back!)

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Gina Davis said...

I love Valentine's Day too. I do not like cheesey roses and an expensive dinner but I love showing people how much we love them. This world is so empty of love so if there is a holiday to help us remember to show some more love than why not?

Elizabeth said...

I remember just always feeling spoiled on Valentine's Day as a kid, and that's a good thing! Especially as a girl since my dad would give us slightly more gifts, ha ha. I have never had a "romantic" Valentine's date, and I wonder if any real couples actually do that? Then in college we always had awesome girls' Valentine dinners with yummy food. Some girls even ditched their significant others to come. I'm trying not to raise my expectations too high with a small child who doesn't like arts and crafts much. Stickers and tape might be our limit here, too. But, I would love for my family to feel spoiled.

Hannah M said...

Handmade Valentine's are the best! We didn't buy any Valentine's Day cards this year, like you we made ours! I pulled out some watercolors and let the kids go wild painting hearts I had cut out. Simple and nothing fancy. But definitely from the heart and Emerson loved painting his hearts for his aunties and grandparents. The point isn't to get all fancy and perfect - like you said, it's so tell someone we love and care about them!

Callie Nicole said...

That is so much fun! Simple and from the heart is always the best! :-)

Callie Nicole said...

Exactly, I want to spoil my own kids on Valentine's Day! We got them stuffed animals and candy for the actual day, and they loved it. Hope your Valentine's was great!

Callie Nicole said...

Totally agree! I hope you had a lovely Valentine's. :-)

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