"Yes, today is the day," I whispered as I tousled my seven-year-old's stringy hair and turned on her bedside lamp. Hannah peered at me through one open eye and propped herself up on her elbows beneath her fuzzy purple comforter. Her second eye opened without the normal singsong of grumbles and groans that generally accompany Hannah's first waking moments.
"Finally," Hannah sighed, as if she had been waiting for the dawn of this day for ages.
She popped out of bed and patted the small lady bug mailbox that sat on her dresser. "I'll see you after school," she announced. She opened and closed the tiny pink door a few times just to make sure that her letter holder was in perfect working condition, and then bounced to the kitchen for breakfast.
"We should celebrate love EVERY day," Lizzy murmured as she watched her normally melancholy morning companion bound from the room.
"I couldn't agree more," I said with a smile!
No doubt about it, a one-day celebration of love is just too short. So, last year after my amazing friend Sherri told me about her family's count-down-to-Valentine's Day-tradition, I just had to try it for myself. Our prelude to February fourteen was a great antidote for the winter blues and an easy way to infuse the second month of the year with an extra dose of delight.
Today, my kids came home from school early as the first blizzard of the year blazed through our small town. Though they couldn't play outside without blowing away like the drifting snow, they discovered edible snowballs (powdered donut holes) in their mailboxes along with a note that read: First Day of Love...I love you SNOW much!
As I tucked Hannah in bed tonight, she wondered aloud what might arrive in her ladybug mailbox tomorrow. "I'm not sure," I replied, "But whatever it is, I hope it reminds you that your Mommy loves you a WHOLE BUNCH!"
"Oh, I don't need a silly bug to remind me of that," my sweet daughter countered. "You're always dropping your love into my heart. God gave me my very own mail slot RIGHT HERE," and with a grin, my toothless wonder pointed to her heart.
You don't need fancy mailboxes or expensive trinkets to spread a little extra this month. Just decorate some old shoe boxes with color and bling or establish a "pillow drop off" system in your children's beds. Then, try a few of these silly love notes and simple gifts..
*I'm so glad wheel always be together! (a small toy car or a strip of car stickers)
*Stick with me, Valentine. I'll always love you! (a stick of gum or a sheet of stickers).
*You color my days with joy! (A crayon or marker)
*You are the highlight of my life (Highlights magazine or a highlighter pen) OR try this spin on the same idea- You light up my life (small flashlight).
*I chews you as my favorite kid! (gum or a chewy piece of candy)
*I'm glad you're in the story of my life. (a small book)
*I can't stop talking about it, here's what I love about you....(Conversation hearts or candy lips)
*I'm bananas for you, Valentine! (a banana- I'm dipping mine in chocolate!)
*You'll always have a piece of my heart (a puzzle or divide one puzzles pieces between all the kids and have them work together to assemble it)
*You're just write for me! (pencil or pen or fun notebook)
*I'm never bored when I'm with you! (coupon that is good for playing a board game with Mom)
*You're the chocolate chip in the cookie of my life! (chocolate chip cookies)
*You've tied my heart in knots (rope licorice with a knot in it)
*I couldn't bear life without you (a small stuffed bear or gummy bears)
*You make my heart soar! (a paper airplane or small flying toy)
*You make my heart spin (a top)
*Loving you is a ball! (a gumball or super ball)
*I'm nuts about you (peanuts- the orange candy ones or the real thing)
*You and I were mint to be together (Andes mint)
*You make my heart sing (A plastic kazoo (think party favors) or a music C.D.)
*I can't bottle all my love for you! (A bottle of soda, a bottle of lotion, a bottle of juice)
*My heart is bubbling over with love for you!*(bath bubbles or bubblegum)
The possibilities are endless.. just think cheap and cheesy! And before you know it, you'll have enjoyed fourteen (or 12 or 10 or 7 or...) days of FUN!
The Overflow: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. I John 4:7