Forget roses and prix fixe dinners. This February 14, I just want a few handmade Valentine’s Day cards.
Because always chocolate.
Ever since I was a kid, Valentine’s Day has always meant friendship and platonic love. When I was in maybe 3rd grade, my younger sister lost all her valentines. All the tiny packs of candy, the Disney-themed cards, the hand-signed doilies—gone. She was heartbroken.
Later that night, I went through my own haul. I crossed off “Catherine” on every darn card and wrote in my sister’s name instead.
I then gave her a paper sack filled with cards from my classmates to cheer her up.
It should be no surprise, then, that when I think of Valentine’s Day, I don’t get goo-goo over the romantic aspects of the holiday. Instead, I melt at the memory of mailboxes made out of Kleenex boxes, carefully writing friends’ names on Ariel the Little Mermaid cards and the chalky taste of Sweethearts I choked down in the interest of reading the messages.
Now that I have kids, I get to relive the sweet, innocent side of the holiday—partly through crafting handmade Valentine’s Day cards.
Crafting all the valentines
It should be no surprise, then, that we’ve been making a steady stream of handmade Valentine’s Day cards. We started in January, partly as a way to distract Peeper from the fact she had to wait 12 months until Christmas. (“Is it Christmas tomorrow?” she asked nearly every day. Um, no, kid. You have about 360 days to go.)
Usually I just spread out the craft supplies and let the creativity fly. But as I stuck glittery hearts on a card, the shapes began to materialize—until I had a crab. But not a crabby crab; this one was in love.
(Cue the heart eye emoji.)
Peeper saw my crab valentine and she wanted to make one, too. So we made a whole bunch.
And you guys, I may or may not have cried over her handmade Valentine’s Day card. Have you ever seen such an adorable crab? The answer is no. I am positive it is no.
Spreading the love
We’re continuing to make handmade Valentine’s Day cards—after all, we have a week to go! We’ll be dropping off a bunch to our local Meals on Wheels, where they’ll get delivered to homebound seniors. The last time we made cards for the group, the volunteer coordinator was so excited she couldn’t speak for a few moments. Then she told me how much the seniors love the cards. They were even going to use some of them as table decorations for an event they hosted.
Peeper had the patience to make only a few crabs. That’s ok—she glued a bunch of pompoms to a foam heart and even signed her name on a bunch of her art to give away.
Even Kiwi made a few valentines. She pointed to where she wanted the glue to go then stuck on pompoms.
Then she ate paint.
Kiwi is all about performance-arts and crafts.
Make your own handmade Valentine’s Day cards
Whether you’re delivering valentines to your kids’ classmates, to aunts and uncles across the country, or to people who may need some extra cheering up, good for you for spreading the love.
Why not try making one of these crab valentines? It’s super easy, and you’d get to try your own claw—ah, hand—at some Valentine’s Day crab puns, like:
You cheer me up when I’m crabby
I’m so lucky to have you, I just have to pinch myself!
I may be shy, but you make me come out of my shell
(Ok, that last one was a stretch.)
Download directions to make crab valentines here!
What crabby pun would you write in this valentine?