It seems like every bit of valentine decor from my childhood had something to do with cupids, lots and lots of hearts and doilies, and red, white and red. Our teacher hung red hearts from the ceiling, stapled cherubs to the bulletin boards and positioned a decorated valentine box on the corner of her desk for all to fill.
We knew the drill come February 14, and we loved it. Miniature valentines in hand, we would file up to her desk and stuff that beautiful box full of heartfelt affection and kitschy phrases. It was a tradition we loved and we prepared for it starting on January 2. Well, we started making handmade valentines in January, but those cool, boxed valentines from the dime store couldn’t be picked out until early February.
Once childhood was over, Valentine’s day lost its excitement for many years. It was sweet, it was thoughtful, but it didn’t have the thrill that it once had. Maybe that’s how it should be, but twenty-two years ago I decided to do something about it. Something that would make February 14 special every year, and would usually begin in mid January.
I decided to create handmade valentines for all of the women in my life; my family, my close friends and my coworkers. I knew they thought the cards were for them. I knew they thought the message was to them. They couldn’t have been more right. In a way, however, the cards have also been for my passion to create from my hand. The message has been to help remind me of the value of these people in my life. The labor has always been a labor of love.
This year my valentine is all about those typical icons that floated above my desk in grade school and were pasted to the classroom walls and bulletin boards during February. Indeed, the hearts, the red, the gold and little celestial beings are all here. They may not be cupids, but they are as angelic as can be.
This year the valentine comes as a little work of art to be placed on a golden easel. The message shares my sentiment, that the recipient is an angel here on earth . . . sent from heaven . . . filling our hearts with love. How true it is, and how lucky for me to be among the people graced by them.
Since few of you will have the handmade valentine waiting in your mailbox today, please think of this post as your valentine from me to you, one of the many angels gracing our earth with love and goodness. Happy Valentine’s day. Now make it that for those you love.