Sunday, February 14, 2010

dropping the tradition? . . .

Happy Valentines Day.

Over the years I have had the children make Valentines packages of "treats" and "things" for each other. For example, one year they made paper flowers and placed them in clay pots. Where the dirt is supposed to be, I had them place small, not-so-sugary sweets and then cover it with shredded paper to look like a potted plant. On another occasion, they filled a small bag with a couple of healthy snacks and a combination of useful items like hammers, duck tape, scotch tape, pencils, and things that they didn't need, but always wanted. Each year was a different theme with different items they would receive. Mostly useful stuff . . . the things children like to have to play/work with.

The tradition started out with only the boys making a Valentine gift for the girls. We would work in the garage and I would help them make their creations, teaching them how to make things and presenting it nicely. I figure they would get a good idea of how to give gifts to their wives one day. As a treat to them, I would buy candy and let them eat as much of it as they wanted while they made the gifts for their sisters. They loved it. And I loved it too. It was a wonderful time to work together, make things, honor their siblings, and eat junk food. Soon it became me working with the girls as well to make gifts for the boys.

This year, and last year for that that matter, I have dropped the ritual for no real reason. Maybe I just didn't get into it this year. Maybe I am no longer wanting to do it. Or maybe, I have too much OTHER work to do! :) Whatever the reason, this year Valentines Day is just coming and going with no special recognition in our home. Instead of making Valentines bags/gifts for each other today, the boys and I will be in the woods cutting more firewood to keep the house warm. The girls will more than likely spend a greater part of the day doing "The Great Book Sort" as Ildi calls it; an organization of the great many books we have in the home. Probably close to 1000 books. We need to get rid of at least half of them!

However you spend your Valentines Day, we wish you well and that your day is filled with love and affection for not only your immediate family members, but also the greater family of God.


Barbara said...

Hmmmm ~ I think I feel sad. I do understand the "real" work since you so generously have shared your progress with us on your blog and on facebook. However I adore what you did with the boys. I love traditions. I think it is -- actually -- a vital part of identity: the "we always" things. I believed this way before I got married, but my wonderful husband "put feet to it" as it were for me. In his family the children always got up on Mother's Day and Father's Day and made breakfast in bed. When we got married as soon as the kids were able -- like 18 months -- Daddy got up and made breakfast in bed for me on Mother's Day. I did it too on Father's day, but I did the making and I let the kids put the silverware on the tray. Not Ed. I got messy eggs and cold toast -- but ANYTHING they COULD do, he let them do. It was not long before it was all them and they excitedly would plan for our Mother's Day and Father's Day, getting up early early, making special delightful breakfasts -- and delighting to do it to the best of their ability. It was such a special gift that Ed gave our family. And Beth HAS taken it into her marriage. I strongly recommend that you...rethink.

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