Valentines Day, February 14th, is a fun day for both young and old! It is a day to think of those we love and celebrate friendship and kindness. It was one of my favorite winter holidays when the kids were younger as I loved all the hoopla of the parties in school, Scouts and Sunday School. It was a break from the winter doldrums! I loved going to the store to let them each pick out their own Valentines.
Back then “computer printables” were not in the vocabulary, if you can believe it! We bought the old fashioned boxed cards that you tore apart on the perforated lines. They loved to pick out their own themes, be in Ninja Turtles, Super Heroes, Care Bears, or Cabbage Patch Kids. Yes, I am definitely dating myself as I think back on those years! Then we would take boxes and each one would wrap and decorate their own individual mailboxes! As Valentines began arriving from relatives; into the box they would go till Valentines Day!
In our home, we always added a component of giving to the day. We would bake and deliver home made cookies to elderly neighbors. We’d collect coins in a big decorated Valentines Day jug that we had decorated after shortly after Christmas and have fun watching it grow. On Valentines Day we would count the coins and decide where we would donate the monies. One year it was the local volunteer Fire Department as my son thought since the trucks were red and Santa always visited the town with the firemen each year, that they should receive the gift. We made presents for all the grandparents, which are still around today at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! We tried to make the kids focus on the ideas of loving and caring as well as the fun of receiving.
Over the years we have done different things to celebrate on the actual day but their all time favorite was the “Sweet Treat” special. From the time they got up, they could eat their meal in whatever order they wanted. I put all the food out on the table from main course to desserts and they could eat it in whatever order they wanted! Probably the absolute worst idea ever and I would most likely be scolded by nutritionists and pediatricians alike, but they are all grown now and no worse for the wear and it continues to be one of their favorite Valentines Day memories!
As they got older, my husband and I began to have adult Valentines Day parties. Sometimes it was out to dinner with friends then back to our house for dessert. Other times it was a cocktail party or a desserts and drinks gathering. We would always cap the night off with a fun game and I truly think that was the highlight of the party.