Tomorrow the grandkids are celebrating Valentine’s Day at school. Monday, February 14th is a day off celebrating President Lincoln’s birthday, which is Saturday, February 12th. So much for celebrating holidays on the actual date. Valentine's Day is a great excuse to eat candy! On Lincoln's Birthday we will make top hats and read the Gettysburg Address, and on Washington's birthday we will eat Cherry pies and maybe watch the movie The Patriot. While we are eating the good food we discuss why we are celebrating the holiday. For Valentine's Day it's hard to explain since the holiday isn't really due to romance associated with any of the three Saint Valentines. Oh well, it makes a good legend.
At home we made cupcakes for Boy’s class. (Cupcake trick: If you don’t have enough cupcake baking tins use small mouth canning lids instead. Place the lids on a cookie sheet. Put the paper cupcake wrapper in the lid, I use two wrappers when I make them this way.) Our cupcakes are decorated with red gummy hearts, pink and white Good n Plenty’s, Necco hearts with cute sayings on them, and pink sprinkles. I took out the boxes of old valentines. I bought about 20 boxes many years ago for about a quarter each. I’ll have enough to get them all the way through elementary school. I asked if they wanted to make them by hand but they said no, it takes too much time. Girl did make a couple by hand for some special friends in her class, but Boy, no such luck.
I remember as a kid my parents bought each of us children a little sampler box of Whitman’s chocolate. Nothing else mattered that day but having our own little box of candy. Why am I writing about what the kids are going to do for school? It’s all about tradition. As long as we aren’t in a TEOTWAWKI situation, or even something much more benign, like a local major disaster, we should still have time for tradition.
Around here Girl gets a pink top. I have plenty of pink t-shirt material to last until she grows up and then some. I also have pink heart fleece that I made into pajama bottoms. Boy doesn’t want pink. I made him a new shirt and bottoms too, but in a nice manly blue. I did put a pocket into the bottoms and embroidered a heart inside the pocket. Giving them clothes at this time of year works out well. They are more than half way through the school year and it’s a treat to get something new for school. Next week, after Valentine’s day perhaps you should go to the local fabric store and pick up some holiday fabric that’s on clearance.
I member a mistake I made as a parent about 30 years ago. We were supposed to be taking care of our neighbor’s dog while they were on vacation. The dog got out of their yard and got hit by a car. The person who hit the dog knew we were watching it so they came knocking at our door. We had to stop everything and take care of the dog. It wouldn’t have been a problem except oldest child was 30 seconds away from opening up birthday presents. Of course, that was on hold because of the dog emergency. When we finished getting the dog to the vet it was late. Instead of continuing with the present opening I said it’s late, it’s bedtime. We can continue tomorrow. What a mistake. Sure the child opened his presents the next day but the excitement of the actual birthday day was over. It’s not that he didn’t care about the dog; he did. But we could have easily ended the day fifteen minutes later. He could have opened his presents.
It’s important that the kids have little holiday traditions to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Just do something that they will have fond memories of. And yes, I have red and pink cake sprinkles, food coloring, cinnamon red hots, hundreds of cupcake paper wrappers, and cake and frosting supplies in our storage program.