Monday, February 11, 2013

The Heart of It

Thursday is Valentine's Day.

Part of me says this is a silly holiday.  We feel pressured to buy cards, flowers, and candy or make complicated Valentine's Day crafts, gifts and treats.  Do we really need permission, encouragement, and (dare I say) strong-arming and (possibly even) guilt to move us to show love to those around us on this particular day?

Of course not.

Do we all do an excellent job of telling those we love that we really do love them all the other days of the year?  Well, you can answer that one for yourself.

I'll be the first to admit that I often feel like all the day-to-day things I do for my family should say it all.  While it does say a lot- goodness knows we should get love-credit for all we do- it isn't the same as taking time to make sure they get the message.  It isn't the same as writing a personalized note or pulling a child in front of you and asking for eye contact to tell them how much you love them and how happy they make you- followed by a hug, a kiss and, if you're like me, misted-over eyes.

I have really fond memories of finding little homemade Valentines in my lunch box from my mom.  She didn't have to take the time to cut out the red construction-paper-hearts with white paper-doily-hearts pasted on top and write a little note, but she did.  She could have thought that all the laundry, meals made, bathrooms scrubbed, and homework checked for her five kids was enough, but she made this added gesture and, boy, it made me feel special.

It takes very little time and no money to make sure your kid(s), spouse, family and friends know they are incredibly special to you and appreciated by you.  Just please don't feel bad if you're not channeling Martha Stewart this week.  You've got all that laundry to do and those nutritious meals to make, remember?

And those little paper hearts in my lunch box sure drove home the point for me.  No glue gun or candy thermometer required. Pin It


  1. Good post (and title). My mom always did a little something for us on Valentine's Day...usually a small box of chocolate covered cherries from See's....still a favorite to this day. I do a little something for the boys...a card, a gift card, some candy...a small token to let them know they're worth it.xo

  2. Great post Jane! What an encouragement you always are!! Happy Valentine's week to you and yours all the waaaaay from us over here in BC!


  3. Very sweet....a little goes a long way :)

  4. I don't mind holidays, any extra chance to bake something and make everyone happy is easy enough to do. We don't do presents, flowers that kind of thing. Cake is tradition...when we were dating my boyfriend/future husband invited me over. He had made a cake using the Betty Crocker cookbook that showed how to bake a square cake and a round cake then cut them and piece together to make the heart shape. He frosted it with frosting he had tinted pink with beet juice. It was pretty lopsided as the layers did not rise the same but did not taste like beets. That was in 1980.

    Also I found sending out Valentines is a good thing. Who doesn't mind getting a pretty little card in the middle of a snowy, 0 degree day? Plus it is far enough past Christmas card time that you can do a little updating on what has been happening if needed. When the children were little we make most of our cards and I just pull out the box labeled Valentine and get out some of the leftover cards, either the school exchange ones or the ones we stamped etc.

    Oh, I guess I made an exception to my present rule this year...I did buy season 2 in a series my daughter and I watch. She gave me season 1 for Christmas. We don't have "TV...we watch HULU or DVDs.

  5. I try to keep it simple for my husband as to not stress him out about not getting something 'good enough.' Good enough to who? I just tell him what I want. This year I would like a wild flower bouquet (not ridiculously expensive and usually last longer than roses) and a handmade card from the kids. Simple & sweet, just perfect in my opinion. I am trying to remember to do that myself, keep it simple and sweet. Like you said, there are chores to do and it is usually the simple gestures people remember anyway. I got those same notes from my mom in my lunch. Loved it!


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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