Wasn’t one of the best parts of elementary school the Valentine’s Day party and valentine exchange with your classmates? There are so many little nuances of this ritual lodged in my brain. For example, it was completely acceptable to sign a valentine “Like, Mindy” instead of “Love, Mindy” if you didn’t particularly like someone. When preparing the valentines, it was necessary to dump the bag of candy conversation hearts on the table and pick out exactly the right ones to put in the envelopes going to your closest friends. And the boxes we’d decorate took weeks of planning and decorating. There were always a few kids who had the coolest boxes–the box decorated like an actual mailbox, or the box decorated with a paper fringe. The box beautifully decorated with doilies and hearts. The box that looked like a robot.
Alongside the sadness I’ve felt that the old tradition of delivering valentines via the “Knock and Run” method has died, was the horror with which I discovered that the sacred valentine’s boxes of yesteryear have been downsized in importance and are now found in the $1 bin at Target.
I dunno. Was it just me? Were valentine’s boxes a big deal only at my elementary school?
Needless to say, it was with great happiness that I received an email from one of my go-to gals, inviting us to join in a Valentine’s Day homeschooler’s party. There would be crafts, cookies to decorate, and valentines boxes to fill with valentines that had been painstakingly prepared in advance.
Who says that homeschooled kids miss out on all the fun?
I combed through the closet for empty shoe boxes and sat down with the boys to help them catch the vision of the “art project” we were about to embark on. They were on board quickly, and we spent a delightful afternoon cutting, constructing, taping, and Exacto-blading. Here are our finished products.
I know the kids had fun, but I doubt they had as much fun as I did. I had a blast brainstorming ideas with them until we were able to come up with just the right thing for their boxes, each of which is representative of things they are passionate about now. There was a lot of excitement as we created, and I loved watching their faces as their boxes started to come together. And I LOVED watching their faces as they carefully carried their boxes into the party. They were so pumped.
We may not ever deliver cards to our neighbors by knocking and running, but as long as we can find people willing to come to a party, we’ll have a chance to build some memories while we decorate our shoe and cereal boxes in preparation for it.