I sent a letter to my love
And on the way I dropped it,
A little puppy picked it up
And put it in his pocket.
The memory of my little boy singing this song to me in the car on the way home from pre-school, will forever warm my heart come this time of year! Is this day special in your home? Perhaps a great excuse for Mom and Dad to break away for a well deserved dinner for two?
River Song has a tradition of sharing handmade Valentines. The children work to create a heart shaped “envelope” that will serve to collect the numerous handmade notes of affection that come pouring in on Valentine’s Day, from friends and staff alike! We still have many of the cards we received last year, because they were so unique and truly filled with love.
“Long before St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers, a festival was held in ancient Rome during February in honour of the great god Pan. The festival was called Lupercalia, and one of its customs was for the names of young men and women to be shaken in a box and then drawn in lottery fashion to choose token sweethearts. It happened that in the 3rd Century the Bishop Valentine of Rome was martyred on the eve of the feast of Lupercalia. A man noted for his goodness and chastity, it was fitting that the day eventually acquired his name. The element of chance and theme of love remain, as a Valentine is still known as an anonymous declaration of affection usually sent in card form. Flowers, red heart shapes, lace and birds are the images of the festival, the latter because of an old belief that birds also chose their mates on this day for spring nesting.” Taken from Festivals, Family, and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large.
If any of you were involved in the lottery for school of choice this last week, you surely experienced the element of chance, and have hopefully found the theme of love remains.
A fun tradition to start…
Heart Shaped Bird Feeder
You will need:
3 cups birdseed
2 – 1/4 ounce unflavored gelatin packet
Heart shaped cookie cutters
1 straw cut into ~2 inch pieces
Sprinkle two packages of gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let it sit a couple of minutes until gelatin has absorbed the water. Heat 1 ½ cups water to boiling. Add this into the gelatin mixture. Stir until dissolved. Slowly add this to the birdseed mixture and stir, being sure that it doesn’t become too soupy and that the seeds are well coated. Allow the mixture to cool and soak into the birdseed.
Spray your heart shape with cooking spray. You can make a piece of tin foil your base (spray that too) and fold the excess up the sides of the heart. Pack the birdseed firmly into the heart shape, then insert a piece of your cut straw near the top (this will be the hole that you hang it from.)
You can put these in the freezer (or outside if it is cold enough) to let them set. Keep them frozen until you are ready to share them with your feathered friends!
Adapted from Alphamom: http://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/heart-shaped-bird-feeder-diy/