It was really hard this past year for my littlest guy to see the Christmas decorations come down. When the lights and garland came down from the stair railing, he said something lovely like, “Put them back right now!” There were tears shed and a heart was broken by the removal of the tree and decorations that celebrated something so joyful and wonderful. It broke my heart. In an effort to comfort him, I put a small, two foot artificial tree covered in colored lights in his room. I understood his heart ache. It is always hard for me to put the decorations away as well. What’s not to love about Christmas?
It wasn’t long ago that he reminded me of my grave act of decoration removal. I again tried to comfort him. I explained that there is always another celebration, another special day around the corner. I told him the next one involves love, hearts and appreciation for one another–and there might be something yummy to eat too.
With great gusto he said, “Well then, let’s decorate! Come on, mommy, decorate!”
I’ve never really decorated for Valentine’s Day. But when your four year old is gung ho about it, you can’t help but get after it. I quickly thought about what we could muster up in the way of homemade, doesn’t make a big mess decorations. I also thought he might enjoy making cards.
We pulled out various pieces of paper I have accumulated over the years and foam stamps my mom gave to my boys and I nine years ago. (Would you believe the stamp pad still worked?) And one very special stamp I bought years ago with a verse on it.
First, we made a card for his preschool teacher.
Then we made a stack of stamped cards for his classmates and cut hearts out of the corners so we can slip ribbon through the holes and attach goodie bags filled with a couple little toys and yummy treats (that are not riddled with toxic artificial colors and flavors).
We made sun catchers.
I used leftover cotton duck canvas from my college painting classes eons ago (clearly, I’m not painting on canvas much if I still have it around) and some leftover fabric from IKEA to make pillows.
He loves it in his room. (He also brought the little paper heart cut-outs up to his room and spread them on the window sill.)
A few days later, my little guy and I were at Target and saw a heart garland. He asked if we could get it. It was hard to say no. I didn’t want to squelch his decorator spirit and he rarely asks for things in the store. He held the package of hearts all the way through the store.
We love the simple little additions of hearts and color, and the reminder to celebrate love. And my husband has been kind enough not to complain about felt hearts strung across the fireplace. Love you, baby!