January 27, 2009

Creating Traditions

A few years ago, I was on amazon.com looking at a book called 'Mrs. Sharp's Traditions'. I was looking on the list where individual people sell things through amazon, and I was looking one book priced between $2-4, I can't remember. For some reason, I thought that when I clicked the button 'One click shopping', that I would still have a chance to cancel it.

One click definitely means one click, because as soon as I clicked it, it was on it's way. However, God must have made me do it, because it has been such a blessing. It was a beautiful hard cover book, filled with gorgeous pictures of Victorian living and lots of inspiring ideas.

Mostly, the book is divided into the months of the year, and then she describes different activities and celebrations during the Victorian era. There are also sections about being a homemaker and running a household, which are very encouraging and uplifting.

All that to say, every year since I got the book I've wanted to make real Victorian homemade valentines. The Victorians virtually created the Valentine's Day craze that is present now, but in a much simpler setting. They made beautiful and elaborate valentine cards, not the little rinky dink ones at walmart. Not only that, but it was a time for the whole family to express love to each other, not just couples.

Mrs. Sharp's suggestions are: The week before Valentines Day, gather friends and family together to make homemade valentine cards and create special boxes with slots in the top to put the cards in for each family member. Celebrate with an afternoon tea.

The day of Valentine's, each child awakens to a homemade card under their pillow. They come to the breakfast table, all decked in red and white and are served heart shaped cinnamon toast and strawberry muffins. In each of the children's school bags is a little Valentine themed gift, like pencils or a pad of paper. In their lunches they have heart shaped sandwiches and cookies.

She also makes sure the children have enough Valentine cards for all their school mates.

When the kids come home, they have a Valentine Tea party for their dolls and stuffed animals, because they are well loved. Then in the evening, the family gathers for their Valentine dinner. Each place setting has gold foil cornucopias filled with heart candies and chocolates and after dinner they have a heart shaped cake to eat.

I don't know about you, but that sounds like a lot!!! But, they are just ideas, you can pick and choose what you want. I personally think that it's a good idea to make Valentines Day about the whole family, not just romantic couples. So, I am planning in the next week or so, to head out to a craft store and pick up some heart shaped doilies, Victorian stickers, pink and red paper etc. to make homemade cards and send them in the mail to grandparents. If I can find a box, then I will make one with a slot in the top to put extra cards in for the girls.

I am not planning on doing any of the above festivities, except a sweet dinner with the family. All I need is a lace tablecloth to lay over a pink sheet, some pink and red flowers to put into my rose patterned teapot, some small boxes of chocolates in heart shaped boxes and some extra large doilies to go under the plates, and we can have a cute Valentines dinner.

Then everyone can have a special, handmade card on their plate and that's that. Sounds fun to me, to surprise people with real, handmade Valentine Cards. Of course I'll have to figure out how to make super big envelopes to put them in!


DeNiece Barnes said...

Thanks for stopping by to see me, I pray all is well in your home, and again I must say that you have a wonderful blog and you are a wonderful and sweet woman enjoy your day.

jen said...

i am so excited to see another family celebrating valentines day as a family! we love valentines day! the girls and i spend time in the day making homemade cards for each other, then we make table place mats and decorations. i plan a super special meal and desert. hubby brings all his girls a bunch of flowers (we have 3 girls). the girls and i get all dressed up fancy and put on all our jewelry and do our hair for daddy. it is such fun:) then we have a nice dinner together with our flowers as the center piece on the table. we love it so much that this year my oldest daughter has a girl scout bowling party planned on valentines evening and she chose to stay home for our special dinner!! i am a blessed mama. enjoy your valentines and keep building those traditions they are so important. have a blessed day. if you have time come visit at my new blog, allforhim.blogspot bye

Morgan said...

I like those ideas! My children love it when I do special things for them, expecially on holidays. Thanks for sharing- I will have to check that book out!

Morgan said...

okay, I put a hold on that book at the library. Thanks again!