Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

Like the Groundhog predicts when winter is going to end and the day after Thanksgiving begins the start of the Christmas shopping season, the arrival of Elsie's Norwegian fudge signals Valentine's Day at our house.  Sometime at the beginning of February, this wonderful package appears at our door and four of us (the ones with any hint of Norwegian blood) begin to salivate as we work our way through Elsie's thorough packaging.

Behold the wonderful goodness:

Norwegian fudge is an acquired taste.  It has a drier texture than "regular" fudge and it's very sugary.  My Grandmother used to make it for us every year, and after she died, Elsie very kindly took over the duty.  Henry is terribly allergic to nuts, so the batch Elsie sends to our house is nut-free.  A few years ago, she started adding some sprinkles to the top and we all think of this as an added bonus.  Doesn't it look pretty sitting on the plate?  It wasn't there long, trust me.

Once the fudge has arrived and been consumed, it is time for the children to make their Valentines cards.  For the past few years, we bought supplies and made homemade cards, but this year, all three children wanted to buy them.  While Henry was at hockey practice, Georgia and Josie painstakingly wrote their classmates names (and their own name) on each card.  Georgia chose a dog-themed card that had lollipops attached and Josie chose a box of sweet panda bears and hearts.

Later, Henry worked on his own "cards" which were National Geographic animals with lollipops.

That night, I got out ziplock baggies and organized the kids piles.  As I put Josie's into the bag, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the word "God" on one of the Valentines.  I pulled it out of the bag and read not only that "God loves you," but a lenghty bible verse on the back.  Whoops!  Apparently those adorable panda bears are religious and not afraid of a little preaching and bible thumping.  Who knew that you could buy religious-themed Valentine cards from Rite Aid?  It never even occurred to me to check. 

Well, our kids go to public school and religious cards are a big no-no, so it was back to the drawing board for Josie.  After school the next day, she and I went back to Rite Aid, and Josie picked out some secular Fun Dip packs.  

Josie was a very good sport about the whole thing.  In many ways, she was sad to give up the whole sweet panda bear thing, but Josie was equally happy to celebrate the religion found in a good bag of sugar.  Especially if it came with an edible stick.

Georgia had more work to do besides her Valentines cards.  Her teacher assigned the class a Secret Admirer project.  After picking a classmate's name out of a hat, Georgia had to write a letter to him/her describing the child's good qualities.  Luckily, Georgia got the name of another girl who she likes - particularly because Georgia has a very hard time lying and would have probably written very back-handed compliments. 

In case, you can't read the photo, Georgia's letter says "Dear Katie C, I think you are funny, nice, athletic and creative.  You are also a very confident person.  Here are some clues about me:  I love to play soccer, I like to read and I love art."

For the big reveal, Georgia had to make another card with a picture of herself on the outside and with her name on the inside.

They also had to buy a gift ($5 and under) for their admiree.   Georgia chose this stretchy, handing, jellyfishy thing.

Henry also had an additional project.  He had to make a Valentines box to hold all his cards.  As you can see, no one has ever accused Henry of working too slowly or of being a good cutter.

We were all ready on February 14th and we left for school with slightly heavier backpacks than usual.  Everyone was in good moods, eagerly anticipating a fun school day.

Josie found the entire thing rather anti-climatic.  Her class exchanged Valentines, but did not have a party. 

And she expected a party.

She did come home with a well-decorated photo of herself and a bag which she had made to hold her Valentines cards.

She did not come home with a junk-food-filled belly or any candy.  In fact, her Fun Dip Valentines were the only cards with any candy on them at all.  "Obviously," I told her, "you were the only kindergartener with any sense."

"You are right,"  she replied.

Georgia and Henry were much luckier.  Their Valentine receptacles were brimming with candy.  They also got their fair share of tattoos and pencils. 

That evening, we had our "family party."  The children opened their cards from the grandparents and Gordy and I gave them each a book.

Josie was still miffed about her candy-free holiday, so as I put her to bed that night, I reminded her that the next holiday was her birthday.  She went to sleep a very, very happy little girl!


Elizabeth said...

Proselytizing pandas! What is the world coming to! And what is next, I ask you? Missionary marsupials? Born again badgers? If I see any, I will make no eye contact....

Martha said...

hee hee.

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