My wife has been putting up Valentines Day decorations since our humble days when she would visit me in my tiny Queens, New York apartment. While I would cook us up a fantastic meal and exotic drinks, she’d get the whole apartment set up with left over displays from her work.
The practice continued as we moved into our first suburban home in New Jersey. I remember one Valentines day renting a pickup truck, taking us horseback riding, and coming home to a lovingly decorated Valentines day, eating chocolate covered strawberries and sipping on red wine over a roaring wood fire.
Now that we have kids, we’ve toned down the festivities to be a little more PG, though she still uses properly approved left over displays from her job that she brings home on occasion. Mostly, her Valentines decorations are an accumulation of years of adding and saving small displays like plastic hears, LOVE signs, heart peal-able vinyl for the windows, arts and crafts projects from the kids’ school and a mixture of previously purchased birthday party supplies.
I love watching the Valentines decoration come up. It’s a small token of what marks the middle of that very cold and difficult period during the year at our country home. That period just after the Christmas holidays ends with bringing on the new year, and the dawning of Springtime. Valentines day is right in the middle. It’s a mid February romantic celebration that holds the promise of love and the nearing of Spring.
And the kids love it!! This year our eldest girl won a contest at her school and brought home this gigantic Teddy Bear that has become not only part of the Valentines day decorations collective, but a participant in many other holiday decorations!
The best part is that the Valentines decorations stay up until our next celebration, our daughter’s birthday! The visual niceties are a welcoming contrast to the pain of the bitter cold and high heating bills.