Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Sunday Salon - Valentine's Day

Yes, tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  Whether you enjoy this day or not, you can not ignore it, because there are signs of this upcoming day everywhere you look, in the stores and on the television.  In fact, as I'm typing this, they are doing a piece on Good Morning America about which chocolate people like better, Hershey's or Godiva? 

I have always enjoyed Valentine's Day, because my mom made it a special day for us.  We always got chocolate truffles, cupcakes, heart shaped cookies, or some other chocolaty treat my mom had made.  My dad used to give us board games or other things to keep us occupied.  While I don't have kids, yet, this day has continued to be full of wonder for me since I work in a school and little ones are so excited to exchange valentines with their friends and teacher.  To me, not only is it about love, but it's about friendship as well, which is a different kind of love.  Try explaining that to little ones who think love is only the mushy gushy, kissy kind of love.  It can be funny at times.

When I was in the classroom, I always read lots of Valentine's Day books to my kids, for the entire week leading up to Valentine's Day.  Then, unbeknownst to them, I would ask the parents to write a love note to their child, and send it to me before Valentine's Day.  Before our class party, I would read Love You Forever to the class.  The children love the repetitive text and seeing the mom care for the little boy and then the roles reverse.  The book itself makes me cry, but afterward, I would read aloud each letter from the parents.  The kids loved hearing those special words from their mom or dad, and the rest of the class cheered for whomever's letter was being read.  Some of the letters were long and some just a simple, "Happy Valentine's Day; I love you!"  It was truly a special time.  I don't have a class to do this with anymore, but I will be writing my own letter this year, to my husband.  I prefer to do simple, from the heart things for him on this day rather than buy a big gift.  So, today I will be writing my letter so that he has it when he wakes up tomorrow.  Who could you send a love note to?

If you're looking for books to give kids for Valentine's Day, I recently read a couple that I think would be great!

Thumb Love by Elise Primavera
Lulu was a thumb sucker. She and her thumb were very happy together—in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, Lulu and her thumb were best friends.

Despite the urging of her family and the teasing of her friends, Lulu just would not give up her thumb-sucking habit. That is, until one day . . . when Lulu made up her mind to stop. And to help herself and thumb suckers all over the world, Lulu developed a program—one with steps. Twelve steps, to be exact. Join Lulu in her quest to kick the habit as she goes through the steps in this funny and insightful picture book.

This is such a cute book!  Lulu is makes up her own twelve step program, which is very unexpected, from a little one.  The illustrations add so much to this picture book.  They are bright and full of detail.  I gifted this one to one of my teacher's children, who is in kindergarten and still sucks her thumb.  She loves Lulu!  Mom said that the first night they read it, she sucked her thumb all the way through and even had to get her blanket while they read, just like Lulu! 

Ruby Valentine Saves the Day by Laurie B. Friedman
It's Valentine's Day and Ruby won't let anything spoil the celebration! In this follow-up to the popular Love, Ruby Valentine, Ruby's favorite day of the year rolls around again, and she and Lovebird work feverishly to plan the perfect party for everyone in Heartland. But when Valentine's Day arrives, an unexpected snowstorm threatens to ruin all of Ruby's plans. Will Ruby find a way to save the day, or will everyone in Heartland have to wait until next year to celebrate Another heartwarming tale of a girl who discovers the true meaning of Valentine's Day. 

The cover just looks like Valentine's with all the hearts everywhere!  Ruby loves Valentine's Day and wants to share it with her friends, but a snowstorm tries to ruin that.  So, Ruby decides to take the party to them, but all of her decorations get scattered in the snow.  She thinks Valentine's Day is ruined, but her friends help her to see that it is not about the presents, cards and cake, but about being together.  The rhyming text and fun illustrations make this book a fun one for young and old. 

So, what are your thoughts on Valentine's Day?  Is it a day you enjoy, look forward to, or just dread all together?  Do you give gifts to your loved ones?  If so, are they store bought, handmade, or some of both?  I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Kath said...

Typically I'm not too fussed about Valentine's Day. The only thing I really want is to be able to spend time with the hubby but he's away working this year so it's just me and the doggy! No matter, we will go out for a nice dinner later on when he's home.

Hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Robyn Ryle said...

I love what you did in your classroom, having parents write letters to their children. How beautiful, and a nice, broad definition of love for Valentine's Day rather than focusin on romantic love. Have a good Valentine's Day.

bermudaonion said...

We do give simple gifts and we'll go out tonight with friends. I love your idea of writing a love letter, though!

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