You know what? I don’t like Valentine’s Day. It seems like there’s too much pressure to have some kind of uber-romantic, gooey day filled with expensive presents and chocolate, all for no particular reason. I mean, I’m not against holidays that advocate doing nice things for people for no particular reason (after all, as a godless heathen this pretty much describes Christmas for me), but there’s just something about the plethora of hearts and cards and ugly cheap jewelry that takes all of the fun out of it.
Since our household is still vibrating from the impact of having a newborn catapulted into it, I declared this year a collective Free Pass on Valentine’s Day participation. No presents, no flowers, no panicky last-minute shopping. However, as I was still languishing in bed yesterday morning feeding the baby, my husband sent our toddler racing into the bedroom to shout “HAPPY BALENTINE DAY MOMMY!” before thrusting a card in my hand. It featured some sweet words from my husband, as well as a few helpful scribbles from Riley.
Well MELT MY COLD BLACK HEART WHY DON’T YOU.
It got me thinking about a subject that’s perplexed me before: what do you do with your kid’s artistic creations, especially the ones you might actually want to hang onto? In honor of the more tolerable aspects of Valentine’s Day — specifically, the part where your children (or someone else on Behalf of the Children) do something cute for you — I’ve collected a few cool ideas for making keepsakes from such things:
Create a piece of jewelry. If your budding artist produced a particularly charming doodle for you this year, you can send the image to these folks in order to have a piece of jewelry — a pin, necklace, keychain, earring, etc — made from it. They use sterling silver with optional brass/copper accents, and re-create the artwork all permanent-like. Kind of a sweet option, really.
Bust out the video camera. I can’t remember where I read about this idea, but it’s a good one: have your kid(s) pose in front of the video camera for a few minutes with their artwork. While the camera’s running, ask them a few questions about their drawing, or just rattle off the date and occasion. Hopefully, long after the sweet, badly-drawn heart is gone, the footage will still be there. You could even combine a bunch of similar videos together into some kind of clever spanning-the-years montage, if you’re all tricksy like that.
Design a photo book. I’ve been really happy with the books I’ve ordered from Shutterfly, it’s a super-easy way to create a really nice keepsake from a few of those thousands of digital images you’ve got cluttering up your computer. You can turn any decent-quality JPG into a print, so if you scan your kid’s artwork (or take a photo of it) you can send that to be printed along with your photos. You could create a whole book of drawings, or just intersperse them with pictures. SUCH a great idea (which I think I read about in a recent Real Simple Family issue), I am totally going to include some of Riley’s drawings in the next photo book I make.
How was your Valentine’s Day? Are you less Grinchy about this holiday than I am?