Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Valentine's Countdown Calendar

I was so delighted how my advent calendar kept my December calm yet eventful that I started thinking, why not again? Why not another holiday? Finding creative and meaningful things to do forced me to be mentally present in the physical moment. So often, when times get tough or busy, we tend to check out or put our happiness in the future. We have thoughts like, "is it bedtime yet?" or "when do I get a moment." I'm realizing this life is not about me. Nope. Not even a bit. It's about the people I love. Making sure I give them the best of me all the time. Now, I'm not suggesting to become a slave or doormat, but give wholeheartedly. Why not? Everyone knows that you reap what you sow... The love comes back.

Enough with the mush... here is my Valentine's Calendar.

Since the idea is to countdown the days until Valentine's, you will need to brainstorm 14 activities. I tried unsuccessfully to copy lists other people had already put together but discovered most of the stuff out there was composed of mass amounts of money and/or sugar. So... Here is my list.
  • Make and hang hearts (and strings of white lights-- how can you ever go wrong with those)
  • Watch a LOVE movie as a family.
  • Bake something SWEET... and share it.
  • You are SPECIAL! Let's eat dinner by CANDLELIGHT.
  • Make VALENTINE'S cards to pass out to friends.
  • Share the LOVE...Camp out in Mom and Dad's room.
  • Learn how to say "I LOVE YOU" in other languages.
  • Wear lots of RED and WHITE (or PINK) today.
  • Give someone a call and tell them they are LOVED.
  • Enjoy some family time reading all of our LOVE books.
  • Send a package to someone we LOVE who lives far away.
  • Sow seeds of LOVE -- start our garden seedlings indoors.
  • Share hot cocoa with heart shaped marshmallows (cookie cutter)
  • Happy Valentines Day -- small gift or treat
-- Upon review, some of mine are not so cool either, but hey, do what works for you.

(And just like my advent calendar, I am going to spend a couple minutes in front of our family's February schedule to see what days can afford some of the more involved activities and what
days deserve an easy one.)

I printed out the fun stuff on graph paper (just because) and cut them out. Since I never do anything the easy way, they were all different sizes. Then I took the graph paper that was all different sizes and glued them to red card stock. Then I cut the card stock into all different sizes. Did I mention that I like to do everything the hard way... If I were you I'd make them all the same size in the first place. But didn't they turn out pretty...

To finish them off, I punched a hole and thread some black ribbon.

I could have stopped here and simply numbered them, but I always look for the path of most resistance... and I really wanted an excuse to sew with paper.

A while back, I inherited hundreds of postcard envelopes. Those plus clearance Christmas ribbon, pages from an old hymnal and cardstock scraps equals...


This was by far the most intimidating part of the project. But the lack of both pattern and expectation was kind of nice for a change.

Then I needed an equally lovely way to hang the envelopes...

Just clothespins with ribbon and paper and glue.

Simple and beautiful.

And here they are.

The kids are going to go nuts in the morning when they see this at breakfast.

I still have to print the numbers and actually coordinate the "do's" with the days, but that is waiting for another evening...

P.S. I loved dandee's posts about her thirty days of kindness... and kindness after all is all about love. Check her out for some more lovely ideas of how to keep the love going even after Valentine's day.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a sweet idea! I haven't done an advent calendar with my daughter (almost 4) yet...it just always feels like there is already so much happening at Christmas. This is perfect though, and a great way to add some extra fun to the middle of winter. Your decorated envelopes and clothespins are so cute, too. Thank you for sharing!


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