Now, we've attempted painted crafts before, and the result was a bit ... chaotic. So, when I planned to do this one, I actually ran through the entire procedure mentally the night before (and the morning of) to ensure proper ... paint-crafting execution!!! I'm a bit of a control freak that way :).
Anyway! It went well! Armed with plenty of paper towel, Sweet K strapped into her chair and a full-cooperation agreement from Little M, we hand-stamped love shaped valentines to give to grandmas, grandpas and daddy ;). What fun we had! And afterwards, it was a trip to the tub :).
I've become a bit of a cynic when it comes to holidays, I might add. Before we had kids, I didn't focus on them (meaning the holidays, not kids!!) too much. I loved (and still do) decorating for Christmas, but something ... essential, yet something I had not yet found words for ... was lacking. It all seemed a bit commercialistic and consumeristic to me. Yet, I didn't want to completely abandon the yearly celebrations that make things festive either. I just needed to rediscover their value and seek out traditions with meaning that resonated with me.
And so, I've been on the search :). Just recently I snagged a book from our church library. Originally penned in the '80s (oh the decade of bad hair, bad jeans and biiiig glasses!!!), Ann Hibbard writes a book that catches my attention years later!!
"Yet people still crave the secuity and joy that come from the timeless family traditions, rooted in Biblical Christianity. [However] they long for something deeper than a "Hallmark card holiday." " Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in Your Holidays and Special Occasions, p. 2.
She discusses the joy of the anticipation leading up to a holiday, and discusses how we can use these opportunities to impart spiritual and moral lessons to our wee ones (and to learn and grow ourselves ;)...). I turned to the section on Valentines Day, only to learn of the martyrdom of St. Valentine and how we can use this time in the year to underscore the value of friendship, loyalty, faithfulness and commitment. Some examples of biblical stories that Hibbard recommends for the weeks leading up to 'ole Feb 14 are Ruth & Naomi, David & Jonathan and the love of the Father for the prodigal son. This book is full of good ideas (and I'm sure even more creativity can be added with quick www search :)...). And since it was published, she has since written a whole series of books, one for each major holiday.
This reading has provided food for thought as I reconsider how our little family will celebrate various festivities throughout the year. Moving beyond the gift-giving extravaganza (which is a lot of fun - especially when the gifts are for me :P!!) to include more intentional times of teaching. It's exciting and a bit overwhelming :). Lots of room for creativity to be sure :). But worth the effort, I think, as we seek forge meaningful traditions and habits that connect us as a family and as a culture.
What fun traditions have you adopted as a family :)?
What have you let go of because it just didn't seem to fit?
Which celebrations are most meaningful :)? Why?
Send me a note! I'd love to learn more!!
Oh yeah - and Happy Valentines Day!