If you haven’t started making homemade Valentines yet, you are way behind the eight-ball. If you start now, and pull a few all-nighters, you might have a shot at a subpar showing. The kids and I always start right after the new year. This year we are hand-painting grains of rice and building mosaics depicting the martyrdom of St. Valentine. It’s a little gruesome, but really gets back to the true meaning of St. Valentine’s Day.
Valentine was a priest in Rome during the reign of Claudius II. He was arrested for marrying Christian couples in the church, which was strictly verboten. Unwilling to renounce his faith, he was beaten with clubs, stoned, and to finish the job, beheaded. His execution took place on February 14, around the year 270. Martyrdom is so romantic!
If you are squeamish, and recreating the gore of an execution on a commemorative mosaic is not your thing, don’t despair. I have other laborious and impractical ideas for making unique Valentines, that will be cherished for years to come.
1) For the Sports Enthusiasts: Distribute wings, bows, and arrows to the children. Nothing is cuter than a bunch of cherubic children shooting arrows at one another playing Cupid.
2) Valentines that Pop: Package Coca Cola and pop rocks in hand-painted swag bags. The stomach exploding is just a myth, right?
3) Personalized Sonnets: You and your children will have so much fun writing an “Ode to” each child in the classroom.You might need to brush up on iambic pentameter. If you need an additional challenge, I find calligraphy on parchment makes a beautiful statement. For an A+, I recommend burning the edges and decoupage-ing to make decorative wall hangings that will last forever.
4) Choco-Hype: I think it’s fun to make a seven-layer chocolate ganache cake for every child in the classroom. Include handmade bibs with retro hearts and cupid motif. Embroidered bibs are charming, and so unexpected! Hand them over to the kids at school without cutlery and let them have at it.
5) Fluffy Kittens: I love distributing mewing kittens to all the children. This is a really low cost option. If you don’t bother with the vaccinated, de-wormed kittens, you can usually get them for free. Bonus points for kittens with heart-shaped markings.