It's taken me a lot of years to figure out holidays. The key, for me, is to do my shopping and planning when I'm excited about the holiday - which is always a few months in advance. The week before the holiday, I'm so over it that I end up doing nothing. For Valentine's Day, I spent time on Pinterest early in January to find Valentine's for Bridget that weren't candy. (My one vivid memory of last year - so much icky candy with every single Valentine from school. Also, this is the only useful use of Pinterest that I've found so far.) Pinterest totally came through for me. I chose a couple of cute ideas and then hoped no one else in Bridget's class (or Emil's class) chose the same things.
Sweet little airplanes for Emil's Valentine's. I attached a strip of paper to the back of the plane with his name on it. I thought I was going overboard by having Brian and the kids make these for Family Home Evening when Valentine's Day wasn't until Friday. Turns out not overboard, just genius. (It took a few trips to different stores to find all the parts for the planes, but since I was doing it while I was feeling the Valentine love, it was a pleasure.)
I had plenty of time to find the silly straws and the woman who came up with this idea even had a free printable on her blog for the cards. Hooray for Fun Moms and their Free Stuff! I could tell Bridget was disappointed that we weren't giving out candy, but she soldiered on. It's not that I'm against candy. Valentine candy tends to be cute rather than tasty. Chocolate usually gets smashed in the backpack. Pixie Sticks are the worst.
|I was in such a good mood Valentine's Day that I made heart-shaped biscuits for the kids for breakfast. I never make biscuits on a weekday! Emil likes to eat the jam off with his fingers, then the biscuit.|
Brian and I agreed not to get each other presents - our present to each other was dinner at Harvest where no one would scream "YUCKY!!!" at us and spill milk everywhere and then ask for a treat (Colin). The week leading up to our date, Emil spent every dinner time crying loudly. We had to talk fast when he breathed in. (He doesn't get naps anymore and by 5:00 he is out of his mind. And we always give him the wrong fork and serve him from a big hot dish when he wanted to serve himself and we always guess wrong about which cup he wanted. You know, egregious stuff that would get Brian and me sacked in any other household.) What was I talking about... Oh, yes, so our dinner date was lovely and necessary. I couldn't resist getting Brian a card, though. When I see the perfect card, I always get it.
Bridget also gave Brian a card that she made. Bridget gave me a cute Barbie picture that she'd colored and she sewed some Lifesavers together for me. :)
What I'm saying is that it has taken me 18 Valentine's Days, but I think we're finally getting it right. Making reservations way ahead of time, making Valentine's as a family based on someone else's creativity, and finding the perfect card. The key is doing all of it before I run out of love for Valentine's Day. (Our first Valentine's Day together, Brian came home from work and I was painting the front room in our old house - Insane Asylum Gray. He handed me a soup mug full of short red and white carnations. The soup mug had a chicken encouraging me to get well soon on it. I will treasure his expression when he handed me those flowers. Hahahahahahaha!!!)