The Valentine fanfare around here is pretty minimal, if not non-existant. It is amazing how much less hype and importance there can be placed on some things when there is no marketing to push it. I realize for some people there is family tradition or just fun memories they have created that make a Hallmark Holiday like this one special, but for our house that has never been the case.
I do have some fun neighbors though, who have lovely Valentine traditions of their own, like making beautiful cookies that they share with friends in our neighborhood. And there was a small part of me that wanted to do something "special," like my Grandma would have done, something that would turn just a simple meal into the kind of thing you remember years later, just because she used colored toothpicks and had us eat under instead of on top of the table.
So after scouring our house with the Monday morning clean up, and braving the cold to walk to our coffee supplier who is finally back after a long Chinese holiday, the little Scout and I set out to pick up some special groceries for a "We Love Our Men" dinner.
Even though I was, in my own estimation, far from going over the top, it was so sweet to see their little (and big) eyes light up when they saw candles on the table, and wine goblets at every setting (for me too mom??). I think they may have thanked me and told me they loved me at least fifty times throughout the evening.
I know how those meals made extra special, not with expense, but with something different and thoughtful made me feel as a child, and I'm so glad it doesn't take much to do the same for my own. I'm not saying they would be excited about oranges and a penny in their stocking, but giddiness over a special cup comes pretty close.