Valentines Day 2014

Valentines Day is a great chance for family’s to show their love to one another. In Australia, the popularity of Valentines Day is growing. When I was a child, there were flowers available in the shops, (Thank goodness, because my Dad was farming flowers for quite a few years during my childhood! Valentines Day was good for business.), but certainly only a certain number of people would give flowers or exchange cards. However, we do have a tendency to follow the traditions made popular in the US, (especially when the shopping centres realise the commercial lucrativeness of these special days), and now, like many places in the world, the shops are overflowing with Valentine opportunities and it’s not an easily forgotten day anymore.

When I was a girl, I loved seeing all our flowers picked, and ready to be delivered to the florist – roses, carnations and babies breath. (It was the 80’s after all). I used to dream of a man giving me flowers and showering me with gifts on Valentines Day. Luckily for me, The Accountant has used Valentines Day to display his love to me – it always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. A girlhood dream come true is very satisfying. For those who accuse Valentines Day of being purely commercial. I don’t care. If it takes a commercial prompt to remind people to express their love, I’ll take it! Gladly.

Alex had left for an early morning meeting this Valentines Day so woke me with a kiss and a Happy Valentines Day wish. It was a little thrill to find his card later in the day, and I must say I did a little happy dance when I read that he has some Royal Doulton I have been desiring on its way. Bit surprise, because I’ve enrolled in a painting class, and he had told me that was to be my Valentines gift. Spoilt to the max! My fancy candle and massage oil for him, seemed a little insignificant, but I made it up to him. 😉 Say no more!

Excitedly unpacking the beautiful mugs and plates once they arrived.

From what I have observed over the internet, the Americans, (and probably other countries also, but Americans are most easily ‘seen’), celebrate Valentines Day with their children also, with class gifts and exchanging Valentines mail and craft activities. While I don’t think that children should be pressured to be romantic with one another, (there is plenty of time for that later in life), I do think Valentines Day is a great opportunity to teach children about the depth and meaning of love.

So, in our house, we celebrate Valentines Day. At this stage I follow a simple formula. Bake some Valentines snacks, do Valentines craft and have a special dinner together.

It’s very easy to bake some biscuits, ice them and let the children decorate them. This year, we cut them with heart shaped cookie cutters and decorated with pink sugar balls, raspberry M&M’s and lots of sprinkles.

Using a toilet roll that was folded into a heart shape and a cookie cutter, the children did printing with red and pink paint onto cardboard.

We made cards and placemats, to be used later that evening at dinner. It’s a shame I don’t own a laminator. (Perhaps one day soon.) Laminating the placemats would have meant we could have used them for the next week at least. But unfortunately they were a one hit wonder! But it all added to the atmosphere of family love!

Trent didn’t want to paint, but he did cut out paint chip samples into hearts and stripes to make cards. He had also seen Mr Potato on TV that morning when watching Peppa Pig. He wanted to make Mr. Potato, but I suggested Mr Heart Head instead. I thought his Mr. Heart Head turned out very cute!

Finally, we had a special family dinner. My preference would be to teach the children how to set a beautiful table. However, I wimped out, knowing that the triplets was going to make that project a little insane. I did try to convince Trent to help me, but he can be an obstinate child for no good reason at times, so I set the table with the home made placemats, a little chocolate treat in ‘wine glasses’ and flowers from the garden. I forgot the candles, (I was rushing), but normally the children adore candlelit dinners. On the menu was spaghetti bolognaise, (so simple, but we haven’t had it for a little while, and nothing says, “I Love You” to a child more than spag bol. and chocolate brownies. Once again, simple, but my kids always get yoghurt for dessert regularly and anything with sugar is an exciting upgrade.  But anyways, who can refuse a good brownie? I am on the hunt for an excellent brownie recipe at the moment. One that is chewy on the outside and squishy in the middle. I think I may have found it, but my oven is misbehaving right now, so I need to try it again to be sure when it working properly. (Fingers crossed the technician turns up this week.)

Of course, dinner, even though eaten with gusto, had it’s typical insanity. Life with four children under four, particularly the three two year olds, means that love is not demonstrated in peaceful whispers and silent meaningful moments. Although there are still loving family moments. Like holding hands to say grace together.

As always The Accountant and I breathed a sigh of relief once the children were in bed. Until I realised there was still the clean up to go. The meal had ended in mayhem and we quickly ushered the kids to the bathroom and the

n bed without pause to clear the table…

And that was our simple, but loving Valentines Day. I spoke a lot to the children about love and doing things for one another to show love. Of course it’s very simple at this age, but I fully intend to continue to bulk it out as the kids grow older. Having four boys, I think it’s important they grow up being able to express their love for others. I also want my girl to expect the male in her life to treat her with love and respect. Valentines Day is a great training day for future life and a day where children feel secure in the immense love that a family gives.

What do you do on Valentines Day?

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  1. I don’t understand the Valentine’s Day hate either. I don’t see why it’s so hard to mark the day with something a little extra special for the somebody you love. It doesn’t have to cost ridiculous amounts of money. I usually find the people who are banging on about not needing a special day to show that they love someone are the ones that never buy flowers or celebrate anniversaries with a bit of sentimentality. Sounds like laziness to me.

  2. In our house Valentines is simply overshadowed by our wedding anniversary around the same time. In my life I’ve received one valentines card and had to read up what it was all about and why I got this strange card – that year there were 2 cards sold from the local newsagent in the small town I grew up in! How things have changed! AND I’m really not THAT old! Sigh!

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