Happy Love Day!

When I was a kid we did a great job of celebrating Valentine’s Day.  It was a big deal in our family.  Beyond the school celebrations, we had a family celebration.  Mom cooked a special dinner—in 4th grade it included artichokes.  Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but it was also a good chance to teach us artichoke etiquette.  We all made Valentine’s for everyone else.

I remember helping my brother write a poem for our Dad one year.  One year I made (ugly) heart-shaped satin pillows for everyone.   Usually construction paper, glue, and doilies trumped satin in the expression of our love for each other. One year my Mom made me a Raggedy Ann and a Raggedy Andy for my brother.

Since then we’ve moved all over the country—and the world.  Family dinners have given way to phone calls.  Handmade gifts have been replaced by Hallmark cards.  Our love for each other has only changed in the sense that it has matured, deepened, and grown to include my sister-in-law and my nephews.

Lately though I’ve had a different celebration.

I have the privilege of working with lots of families all over the word.  It’s pretty sweet.  The not-so-sweet part is that they’re all over the world and I can only be in one place at a time.

For the last few years one of our families that was preparing to move overseas lived about 2 miles from the office.  Whenever they stopped by, fun ensued.  They always stopped by as close to February 14th as our schedules allowed because we MUST celebrate “Love Day” together.

We did just that for the last few years.  We had balloons.  We had candy.  We took pictures.  We were silly.  We exchanged little gifts.  In fact, the family picture they gave me still sits on my desk right in my line of sight as I lift my eyes to look over the snow covered shrub to see the mountains.Love Day 2010

This is my first Love Day in a few years without them.  So, if you’re in Southeastern Africa and see three amazing siblings walking around, please tell them I said, “Happy Love Day!”  and enjoy some silliness.

Happy Love Day, to you, too!  What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?

Carved heart photo courtesy of  Ayla87 ; photo of me and the T3 courtesy of me!

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12 Responses to “Happy Love Day!”

  1. NicoletteFebruary 14, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    I’m coming out of lurkdom!

    It’s funny, Valentine’s day has never been a holiday that we in my family celebrated much… not for any reason, it was just never high on our radar. BUT, it’s the one holiday that Caleb and I actually have a tradition for… starting way back before we were even dating, we went out with friends for Indian food, and we’ve kept it up ever since! (Although in Beirut, we’ve had to make it at home, since we are still on the search for good Indian food here.)

    Happy Love Day! 🙂

  2. Monica SharmanFebruary 14, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Beautiful (the photo, and the love).
    🙂

  3. CherylFebruary 14, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    My mom used to always surprise us with a special gift on each of our plates at breakfast in the mornings–usually candy or something. And she always had a special card for Dad marked “Darl”–which they pronounced “durl.” And he would read the card and there would be an emotional moment and he would give her a kiss, which we always watched with smiles. I also loved the big valentine tradition at school and choosing the right valentines for each of my classmates.
    Here in France the holiday is really only for couples, which I think is too bad. So Mom sends us all kinds of decorations, and another friend sent us valentine-making equipment… We try to do it up, but it’s somehow not the same. I think people think we’re weird for sticking hearts on our front door and serving them heart-shaped cookies and saying “Joyeuse fete de la St Valentin!!” and stuff. sigh.

  4. SherylFebruary 14, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Thanks for walking into the light, Nicolette! 🙂 I lurk enough at your blog, so I suppose it’s fair. What a fun tradition! We have a colleague in Vienna who gathered a group of friends to search for the best Indian food there. They went out about once a month to try different Indian restaurants. It took them a few years, but they finally came up with a winner. I think you and Caleb should do something similar. One date night a month is for reviewing a new Indian restaurant. Happy Love Day, to you, too!!!!

    Monica, it was such a fun morning. I’m thankful I got a picture to remember it. Thanks for stopping by!

    Soul, I can just picture your Mom and Zeke on Valentine’s morning. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time. How fun that you get to bring a bit of the fun part of American Valentine’s to your corner of the world! Don’t worry about the weird looks. Just remember you’re sharing LOVE with them and that’s what it’s all about. They meet Jesus with skin on with every heart-shaped cookie. Du courage!

  5. Tonya ValentinFebruary 14, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    my kids wanted to know why they have to do school today. Today is Valentines day….

  6. SherylFebruary 14, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    That’s great, Tonya! I used to do things like have them write love poetry and or love letters between historic figures we were studying at that point. You can always tell them you love them so much you’re making sure they get a good education!

  7. Nikole HahnFebruary 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    We don’t really have traditions on Valentines. We just surprise each other and plan, or do something different. Great blog!

  8. SherylFebruary 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    It sounds like a tradition of breaking routine—and that sounds good to me, Nikole. I hope you have a fun-filled day. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. NicoletteFebruary 15, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    Haha, if we did Indian one night a month, we’d be out of new restaurants to try in…oh, three months or so! 🙂

  10. SherylFebruary 15, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    That’s too bad! It sounds like you found a good one this week. Perhaps you need to try another cuisine for date night; I have no idea what.

  11. DADFebruary 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Good memories. Thanks for recounting some of them.

  12. SherylFebruary 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by, Lizzie and Dad! We do have lots of great memories, don’t we, Dad? But we still have a lot more to make!

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