Monday, February 7, 2011

valentines, rethought

I've sent out Valentines my entire life; sometimes purchased, sometimes handmade. The first couple of years of Abbott's life I made photo cards, and when he (and later Cal, too) was old enough to make things, we made them together. Some years, I purchased elaborate supplies, and my creative children did with them as they saw fit (as they should), and generally not according to my vision for the cards. Last year we purchased some from the drug store, as the year before it had been a struggle to get the boys to make them in a timely manner. Making artwork for the joy of it is one thing; making mandatory art is another, for Abbott, during the school year when he's busy with homework obligations. I decided getting them to fill out the 'to' and 'from' was enough.

Over the past few weeks I put some thought into what to do for our valentines this year. I came up with something personal and, I think, in the intended spirit of the holiday. I spent an hour or so last week at school taking individual pictures of Abbott and Cal with each of their classmates. I purchased some large, heavy, single-sided cardstock, a glue pen, and a glitter set. I had the boys think of something they like or appreciate about each classmate, write it out with the glue pen, and sprinkle glitter over the writing for a bit of a decorative effect. We then attached the picture of them with that classmate onto the card.

I know we'll be glad to have the pictures to remember these friends by, and will be better for the exercise in gratitude, in reflecting on why we appreciate those in our lives.

21 comments:

kitchenMage said...

This is such a great idea. I love that you have given the kids the impetus to add a personal touch to the unthinking ritual.

Janae said...

Those have to be some of the most precious cards I've ever seen. My daughter and I did something similar for the thank-you cards after her birthday party; I had taken a picture of her with each girl at the party and we incorporated them into the cards.

If my daughter brought home a valentine like the ones you and your boys made, I think I would probably cry. So sweet!

rowena said...

They look lovely, very beautiful.

likeschocolate said...

What a great idea!

KPiep said...

Those are excellent valentines!c

Renée said...

What a specially thoughtful present! For your kids (specially) and for the other kids.

Purple Flowers said...

A very creative way to create Valentine cards. And a lasting keepsake!

may said...

oh, my! these are so great. i would have loved to have gotten one as a kid--actually, would still love one today.

Tami said...

your oldest son is starting to look a lot like your husband!

Expats Again said...

What a wonderful mother you are. Instilling a sense of thoughtfulness into young children that will pay off the rest of their days. This is a particularly unique idea and demonstrates even further the personal nature of showing someone how much they mean to you. I have never once received a valentine or Thank You card from any of my ten grandchildren, many of them old enough now to know better. And you know how much that would mean to a grandmother! I think this begins at home at a very young age. Good job, mom!

Char said...

those are so very thoughtful - and the parents will love them as much as the children.

nicole said...

Love, love, love -- and there's so much love involved. Can't wait to do this. Thank you for the inspiration!

Liz said...

Love that you shared your idea with us. How to carry out all these wonderful intentions is where I get hung up but I will think of your thoughtfulness as my call to action. Thank You.

Amber, theAmberShow said...

I love that you are teaching them to be thoughtful! Bravo! I am tucking this away for when I have my own brood :)

Di said...

What a lovely idea! You are so creative. I'll remember this one for Christmas also.....

Krys72599 said...

What a fantastic idea! What child DOESN'T need to hear that they are liked or appreciated by others? How nice to have your sons sit down and really think about what they like about each and every student in their class, not just the few they are close friends with... A terrific lesson, and one we should ALL pay attention to! (And I'm SO sorry for all the sentences ending with prepositions!)

Francesca said...

So wonderful Lecia! My boys would appreciate the "you are very fast" :)

Carolina said...

Wow! I remember exchanging Valentines as a kid... and the only ones that lasted more than the 2 seconds it took to read them were the ones with candy.
These Valentines will stay sweet much longer than any sugar-rush ever did...

Julie said...

LOVE this. Doing it tomorrow with my boys.

Valerie said...

your portraits are wonderful -- as usual and this is such a lovely idea, a precious souvenir for all these children to keep.
by the way Cal's & Abbott's school sounds really cool, you wouldn't be allowed to take pictures in any school I know here.
My daughter did that as NewYear greeting card to her best friends this year, which is something I loved !

Catie said...

what an awesome idea!