Over the years, I have developed a tender affection for Valentine’s Day. As a child, this day was marked by the painstaking effort of producing valentines for my fellow classmates, accompanied by the fear of rejection that would come if there were no reciprocal valentines in my own poorly decorated box. (Back in my day, it was not mandatory to give every classmate a valentine; you could pick and choose who to give them to.)
In my college years, I recall hosting a Valentine’s crafting party with my roommate and several other single friends. We sat in a circle on the floor of our apartment and shared our supplies, assembling a variety of homemade creations to share with friends and loved ones. Similarly, in my early years of marriage, I hosted another Valentine’s party, this time for both married and single women. Later, I made valentine cupcakes with my children, and delivered a few to our new neighbor, an older, single man, who may have wondered at my intentions, innocent though they were. 🙂
Then came the years of assembling valentines for my children’s classmates (every single one of them) and Sunday School friends; the frantic rush to create or purchase a gift/treat for the teacher; the peril of potentially forgetting someone’s name in the milieu. I’m still in this season, but I’ve relaxed a bit on the gift-giving.
This year, though, I have returned to my Valentine’s crafting party roots. Today, I made these hand print heart trees with my children.
Also, I made each of my 4th and 5th grade Sunday School girls these little tokens of God’s love.
We will also be making these tissue paper heart wreaths in class.
Oddly, I suppose, I have never really considered the romantic notion of Valentine’s Day. Rarely will I even acknowledge it to my husband. Instead, I find Valentine’s Day to be a perfect opportunity to show love to those who need it most, be it a neighbor or single friend or widow. I made a few extra of those Scripture-crafted chocolate nuggets, and I plan to give them to whoever I think might need a little encouragement tomorrow (my widowed, chocolate-loving neighbor comes to mind).
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Have you disregarded it as an unessential, commercialized Hallmark holiday? I encourage you to take another look at what this day has to offer apart from the romance and to find some small way to show God’s love to someone in your life who might especially need it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!