Monday, January 21, 2008

Countdown to Valentine's Day

With no more Christmas celebration or decorations to enjoy, Caroline is moving full speed ahead to Valentine's Day. At the first of this month when we started to take the tree down, she came very close to crying. She said, "but what about [read: what if] I still want decorations out!" in the most despairing tone.

And when it was time to put away the Christmas-themed books and toys, you would have thought I was asking her to bury them forever. I think she actually cried a few tears over putting them all into the red Rubbermaid. About 30 minutes after we had put what I thought were all of the toys away and Caroline had gone off into the playroom to mourn, she emerged, face downcast, clutching a stuffed snowman (it had been hiding in her kitchen cabinet) to her chest. She walked very slowly towards the Rubbermaid, stopped, kissed the snowman, and placed him inside. Then she walked out of the room the same way she had come in. I let her have her grief, but I couldn't help laughing to myself behind her back as she was walking away. :)

Later I made the mistake of telling her we could put some different decorations out when it was time for Valentine's Day. I thought this would cheer her up a little. She has not failed to mention Valentine's Day every day since.

For this holiday we are going to use a countdown calendar. I saw this one on Family Fun's website (click on the three links under "Countdown Calendar") and it's pretty cute. It's in the shape of a chocolates box and you "unwrap" a little activity to do each day from February 1 up until Valentine's Day. I think we will substitute our own countdown ideas for some of the ones it mentions, though. Here are a few of the ones I've thought of--

  • Go to the library and check out some Valentine's books
  • Go to the library and check out a Valentine's flannel set (our library has what they call "Storytime in a Box" and it's really cute)
  • Go to Barnes and Noble and spend an afternoon reading all the books on the Valentine's table
  • Make a doorknob "mailbox"/cardholder
  • Make some of these crepe paper flowers--I've been wanting to make some since August when it was posted on one of my favorite blogs and I've been saving up soup cans
  • Write a list of all the things you love about _______ (a person a day, maybe)
  • Make homemade marshmallows (see here and here)
  • Make wax paper and crayon hearts
  • Make some finger paint valentines
  • Make Valentine's cupcakes and deliver them to friends and neighbors
  • Make Valentine's sugar cookies with sprinkles
  • Make any of the sweets recipes on my friend Nikki's food blog (she has the recipes divided into categories for easy searching; pay special attention to the "valentine's day," "chocolate," and "truffle" categories)
  • Make a valentine notebook (something for Caroline to slip all her valentines into after the day is over)
  • Find a mailbox/birdhouse to put between our yard and the neighbors' so that the girls can exchange notes, Little Women style (remember the box in the garden they used to correspond with Laurie? I love that kind of thing!)
  • Have a tea party
  • Make Valentine's shrinky dinks
  • Look up Bible verses about love and friendship and talk about them--work on memorizing some together
Yikes, maybe we should get started on this countdown thing now! I have some more ideas for things to make, but I can't share those right now because some of you just might be our valentines!

Do any of you have fun ideas or traditions? (Laura, are you reading this?)

Do share! Can you tell I love ideas? :)


  1. Wow! So creative! I love the idea about posting a mailbox so Caroline can exchange notes with the neighbor girl. :) That's so cute!

    Oh...and I also enjoy the Shrinky Dinks! lol

    Miss you guys!

  2. Hey Amber!
    Just checking in on you and Caroline...I love to read the fun things you girls have been up to! The countdown calendar sounds like so much fun. How has it turned out?
    Hope you are doing great!
    miss you!

  3. Happy birthday Caroline! Make sure you check your email today! :)

    Love you!