Monday, February 1, 2010

Celebrate Your Love!

I used to hate Valentines Day -- and Mother's Day -- and my birthday, and I didn't even particularly enjoy Christmas. Why? Let me tell you!

When I met my now husband of almost 40 years, he was an amazing gift giver! He wooed me -- not just with the usual flowers and candy, but with love poems he penned and fun things like sending me on a hunt with notes to discover little gifts "just because." He even had his friends write notes (his wording) in their own handwriting on postcards to tell me "be watching," "something is coming," "you have a secret admirer," and more. He was a very creative guy in the romance department -- and a hunk, too!

After we got married, things changed. Life happened.  During our third year of marriage, my husband started down a path of higher education as a perpetual student (over eleven years of higher education and now two masters and a doctorate). Of course, that meant I was the "support person" -- and more so because we had six boys to raise.

I tried not to be disappointed when I got a humorous card for a birthday with a squished piece of gum in it (because he sat on it while it was in his pocket on his way to the party). I tried not to cry when Valentine's Day came and went and he forgot. I tried really hard not be be angry when Mother's Day came and went and he didn't take the boys to find some little card for me. I was well on the way to becoming bitter because my expectations were never met -- and I felt like I had been set up -- wooed and then duped. Until. . . . .

. . .Until the year I realized I had become so wrapped up in my own expectations, I was the one setting myself up for hurt! That year, I decided I would not leave hints for Valentine's Day or watch with expectation for what I hoped to get. Instead, I decided I would think of ways I could show my own love not just for my husband, but my sons as well. I decided I would not just celebrate Valentine's Day in a special way, but I would celebrate the "14 Days of Valentines -- starting with February 1st!"

I went to the store and bought kid valentines, construction paper, sidewalk chalk, conversation hearts, ribbon, doilies, chocolate hearts, heart stickers and more. Then, each day I carefully showed my love to each one of my sons and my husband -- tucking little notes or a conversation heart in a lunch, taping construction paper hearts onto items with fun thoughts. Onto a light switch you might have found, "You light up my life." On the bathroom mirror I taped, "That's the face I love," and more. I wrote notes in sidewalk chalk where I knew my husband or the boys would be walking home from school. Every day I gave a small gift -- and my own anticipation and excitement grew. I knew they would be looking for what else I was going to come up with in the spirit of 14 days of my celebration of love for them.

I discovered something amazing in the process of celebrating my love that year -- that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive! I am celebrating the 14 Days of Valentines again this year. My husband and I have been in a very difficult financial place -- and it could be a holiday of feeling down -- if I let it. Instead, I have been looking at things I can make and do to make this a very special time of year -- ways to celebrate my love in spite of the circumstances.

My challenge to you is to look for someone who needs love and get creative in ways to show them you care -- it could be your spouse, a significant other, a son or daughter -- or even a co-worker or neighbor. Celebrate the 14 Days of Valentines with me -- starting today, February 1st!

If you want some ideas of things to give, I found some terrific items in BBest shops to get your creative juices flowing.

Tuck a secret message into this very special valentine box -- perhaps a message a day? by Chris1

Send a quilted postcard through the mail along with your special message. Attackofthevintage has lots in her shop!


Sprinkle a few of these delightful confetti heart shapes by circleinthesand around the place settings at breakfast or on a co-worker's desk before they arrive at work!

 

Tuck a tiny bouquet of flowers or some favorite candy into this fun little stoneware tumbler with hearts by fehustoneware. It would be a fun gift with the pens shown, too!

 

Bring a cup of coffee in to waken that someone special with this adorable Valentine Mug Rug by blazingneedles to rest it on!
 
 This little set of "raining hearts" silhouette cards by MisterPenQuin will provide you with several days worth of notes to share your love!
These "Scottish Love" sweet pinbacks by JoonBeam would be a great addition to your little love note message, giving you a way to tack them up in a special spot!

 
Lovingly wrap this "Broken Hearts" hand knit scarf by bytheby around your honey's neck as he leaves, telling him to stay warm and keep safe and come back home soon!


When your sweetheart comes home, share some wine along with chocolate covered strawberries using these lovely hand painted wine goblets by GlitznGlass!


Hang this Sweet Heart Dream Catcher by jstinson above the bed to whisper your love.

 

Last -- but not least, light this  Hearts A Glow Tealight by CBBasement on the nightstand to speak softly of your love through the flicker of candlelight.

I hope these ideas get the creative juices flowing -- and that you too will enjoy celebrating your love by giving it away this year!

19 comments:

jstinson said...

Great post. Mvto and Wado (Thank you in Creek and Cherokee) for featuring my Dream Catcher.

On a Whimsey said...

Lovely post from which many of us could learn a thing or two! Great choices too :)

Myfanwy said...

Many lessons in that post, Judi, thanks for sharing part of yourself with us.

circleinthesand said...

What a sweet article.... we could all learn some lessons from this. Thank you for including my Hearts Confetti in this excellent piece. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

Mickey said...

A really nice blog!

Jill said...

What a great ppost, Judi. Thank you for sharing.

yankeegirl said...

Wonderful, Judi!! Thanks for sharing your life's lessons.

barneyp510 said...

What a lovely post!! And thanks for including my mugrug.

Barb

Brett Ward said...

you know, i am actually going to do this!!!

thank you!

ZudaGay said...

Lovely post, Judi!! And what wonderful ideas! hummmmm...

heronkate said...

What a sweet blog !

Sixsisters said...

Loved the blog Judi.

MagdaleneJewels said...

I almost forgot I was reading a blog when reading about life's up and downs. It is sad how everywhere you turn Valentine's Day is being promoted, making you feel as if you are not a special person if you don't have that special person to lavish you with love and gifts and support.
After my husband left and my children were very small, although they were affected by a lot that was going on, I would not let that interfere with letting them know how much I loved (and still do) them. I would start early Feb putting those little candy hearts in their lunch boxes. On Valentine's day I would get special large Valentine cookies from the bakery. Just a little way of saying I love you and you are very special. To this day, as they are all adults, I still give them their own boxes of candy hearts and they still expect their special cookies on V-Day. You are right, love exists in the giving - not just from yourself but from your heart (and now that my eyes are filled with tears of so many memories your blog brought up- I will stop here)

Chauncey said...

terrific sweet post, Judi

Julie G. said...

Judi, Judi, Judi, what can I say that hasn't already been said?! Beautiful, writing, thoughts, lessons, creativity....love is such a blessing and a gift. Thank you. Julie

Beth said...

Loved reading this post. Thanks for sharing and I'm sure everyone can relate. Love all the items you chose.

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rhonda/ In a Lather said...

A really lovely post--I enjoyed it immensely!

Pam said...

I'm so glad I have some time to catch up on reading the blogposts. Yours is absolutely wonderful, and a message for each of us about giving to others and showing our love. Thank you for such a thoughtful and endearing blog. The BBest creations are magnificent, as always!