I love Valentine's Day. I suppose there was a period of time when I was single and lonely that I didn't love the holiday so much - thought it a constant reminder of the love of my life that I had yet to find - and poo-poo'd much of the festivities.
But if I look back to the V-days of my childhood - I always loved them. My mom made them extra special, of course, so we'd always have a 'special' dinner in the dining room, on the 'good' china... she'd even let my brother and I drink our milk out of her crystal wine glasses.
There was always some sort of little cerce on our plates prior to the meal - a box of chocolates just for us, a little card, a trinket or toy we'd had our eye on - something small - but something special nonetheless.
We'd come home from school with our paper heart folders (constructed at school and taped on our desks to collect valentines) stuffed full of tiny paper notes - and unfold them one by one to see who had given us a valentine.
Because those were the days when you could pick and choose who you wanted to give valentines to - not like today where we automatically give every child in the class a valentine.
I remember the angst as the day would go on - wondering how many valentines I'd accumulated - and who from - kind of like Charlie Brown...
The kids and I watched the Charlie Brown valentine day DVD the other day. No matter how many times I see it I always feel bad for poor ole Chuck - he never gets any valentines from anyone, let alone the 'little red-haired girl.'
My sweet Anna - after watching it - she looked over at me and said "Mommy? If I were in that movie, I'd make Charlie Brown a valentine."
She gets it - the true spirit of valentines day - a day not just to share sweet treats and cut out paper hearts, but a day to celebrate love, friends, family.
So now that I'm the mom - I try to make this day special for the kids. Which is why I was up late last night busily baking 2 dozen pink frosted cupcakes for James' celebration today, and why I baked 4 dozen heart shaped sugar cookies for Anna's class party today - complete with each child's name piped on a cookie (per Anna's CONSTANT request.)
And why I have a special Valentines day breakfast planned for Sunday morning - to be shared on the "good" china, in the dining room, complete with a little cerce for each child.
So Valentines day isn't a day for me to receive candy and flowers or jewlery from my sweetie - rather it's a day to see joy and delight in my children's eyes (although a nice little box of Godiva chocolates wouldn't be out of the question, my love ... ahem...)
I love Valentine's Day!