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 Handmade gifts have been replaced by Hallmark cards.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.
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!