The thrill of Valentine’s day in elementary school was enough to make me melt into a puddle of candy hearts. I would rip into my store-bought Valentine cards plastered with the faces of Jem, Rainbow, and Strawberry Shortcake on them. Eagerly reading the words from my classmates I would consequently read into the words from the cute boy sitting behind me. “U R Sweet!” “ohmygosh. He thinks I’m sweet! He did sit next to me during quiet reading time. Does this mean we are going out?”
In the sixth grade I had a “boyfriend”. I avoided him at all cost. I thought he was dreamy but I was far too shy to interact with him. Occasionally we’d glance at one another across the playground and I would quickly turn my head so as to hide my blushing cheeks. We did exchange Valentine’s gifts. I gave him two cd’s. C&C Music Factory and Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff (rejects from my brother who was a member of BMG). He gave me a party-size bag of pink, red and white M&M’s.
I’ve matured a little since then. Now Valentine’s day means more to me than chalky candy hearts and awkward young “love”. February 14 is a gentle reminder for me to slow down, get out the glue and glitter and tell those in my life that I love them and I think they are sweet.
While I look forward to spending time with the love of my life on this overly Hallmarked holiday, I don’t believe Valentine’s day is limited to Eros – romantic love. We all need a little nudge to put our regularly scheduled activities on hold to appreciate dear friends and family that make our lives shiny and sweet.
Now having children of my own I am excited to take this opportunity to teach them the importance of loving one another. This is a lifelong lesson that manifests itself in more ways than pink hearts and should occur more often than once a year. But I appreciate this single day for us to use our hands to create and open our hearts to reflect on who we love and to let those people know.
So this week we are working on a few projects. This first one involves one of my favorite materials. Felt.
Felt envelopes in various colors and designs are a delightful way to give someone a little sweet and a few kind words.
As my oldest and I sit together crafting we talk about who each envelope is for. I ask him why he wants to give it to that person and what makes that individual special. He draws them a picture and lovingly tucks it into their envelope.
I started with a super simple envelope template. You can make one yourself by dissecting an envelope you already have or just Google “envelope template”. Then cut out the template from felt. Hot glue (be careful, it’s hot!) or stitch the sides. Then add bows, hearts, glitter, unicorns, or puppies and kitties. You’ll also want to make some sort of a way for the envelopes to close. Most of them I just attached velcro because it was the easiest.
Next – the really fun part – stuff your little envelopes with candy, notes, drawings, etc. Then give them away and watch the smiles.
Come back for more. There will be crayon shavings and chocolate (not together).