I love Valentine’s Day. It may have started as a saint day and been transformed into another consumer holiday by American marketers, but I just love the sweetness of a day dedicated to secret greetings, poetry and pink candies! When the kids were in school there was a year that we bought Valentines with a recognizable Disney personality on them, but they left us with a hollow feeling – the whole process was over so fast – and we went back to making our own.
One Valentine’s when the girls were really small, we put a lot of effort into making a Sparrow Post Office in which to keep the Valentines we had made until it was time to deliver them. This was me copying straight out of A Time to Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays.
She is one of my favorite artists and turning through the pages of this book makes me realize how much of my life I’ve attempted in some manner to fashion after her pictures! I took a picture of the February page so you can see their Sparrow Post Office.
Here is our Sparrow Post office, a little well-loved by the passing years, but standing strong. On the other end is a slot to slide the Valentines in, just like a real post office. That makes us happy! The lid lifts on one side to take them out for delivery. We made it out of cardboard boxes and I recall a happy day with the girls involving a lot of pink paint. I think this year it may be due for some new white fringe on the eaves to spruce it up a little.When it’s not in use, we store our Valentine-y bowls and supplies inside.
As for our actual Valentines, they’ve been different every year, but last year I hit on something that really felt like me: cut out words glued together on a doily heart to make special messages. Yes, it’s just words strung together and I could just as well have printed them out on my computer. But, No, actually, I couldn’t have. Like with magnetic poetry, only in playing around with the actual tangible words would I come up with such interesting and priceless bits of love message as we progress in saving love, you delighted your mom, and how to stop and enjoy. Sort of like the curious short messages on candy hearts - the ones that taste like chalk but without which Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be the same. For Hermes I found and glued the words: that cute thing. To a musical friend, I gave a creation that said moms can sing every day. She kept it on her dashboard for a long time to remind her to sing! For my sweetie? You can share the strong love! Here they are. When we dug out the Sparrow Post Office and opened it up, there they were!
So I think I will get busy cutting up old magazines and making new snippets of poetry for this year. But I would also love to hear about any new special, creative idea for homemade Valentines, so please pass them along.