Orange Juice, ETC

The blog of Elias & Theresa Carlson

Handmade Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! I am aware that this holiday either makes you swoon or barf. Hopefully not too much of either. In my family Valentine’s Day is more than flowers and chocolates, wearing red hearts, or going out for a romantic dinner with a significant other. Though I am sure it started in the traditional manner, through the years this holiday has become important to our family as a whole. It’s a way to show our appreciation for each other in a non-romantic manner.

My parents started a tradition of handmade gifts for Valentine’s Day before my sister and I were around and the tradition has stuck with us. Every year my Dad carves some sort of lovely wooden heart for my Mom. One year it was a hollow heart box, one year a bouquet of wooden hearts on curved wooden stems, one year a chain of interlocking hearts, and so on. My Mom has made a variety of creative gifts for my Dad; books of photos and song lyrics, woolen heart pillows, framed artwork that I drew when I was a child and so on.

As we got older, my sister and I started getting smaller versions of these gifts, one wooden heart on a stem, a short chain of two carved interlocking hearts, a scarf with an embroidered heart, a string of small wool hearts. When we went to college these gifts started coming in wonderful packages through the mail.

Andrea and I have our own tradition of Valentine baking. We get together and make something different each year that we can give to our nearest and dearest. Giant heart meringues, homemade pink heart marshmallows, and rhubarb pie in a jar, to name a few.

When I started dating Elias, I knew that the handmade tradition should continue (on my part at least). It is a challenge each year to think of something new and creative that I can make as a token of love and appreciation for him. Some ideas are original; some are nods to what my parents have done with my own twist.

Valentines day for us is not about spending a lot of money on something that will be eaten or wilt in a day or two. It is about showing the people that mean the most to us how much we love them with a gift that requires thought and planning, a gift that is truly from the heart.

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7 Responses

  1. Mary Jane

     /  February 14, 2011

    Happy Valentines Day…..we are over here sending our love your way! A valentine box should arive today full of all of our Love! Mom and Dad:)

  2. I heart Fantastic.

  3. Andrea

     /  February 14, 2011

    The Valentine box is my favorite. Every year. Without fail. That, and rhubarb pie in a jar:)

  4. I just recieved my valentine box for this year. Thank you Mom and Dad! I wish I could have included them in the post!

  5. Lindsay

     /  February 14, 2011

    Those gifts are so beautiful! This is an awesome tradition:)

  6. sometimes I don’t love valentine’s day… but I love everything about the way you guys celebrate. gorgeous + thoughtful gifts. so fun!

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