Valentine’s Day Pocket
Valentine’s Day is my Mom’s favorite holiday rivaling Christmas and Halloween in decorations and festivities at our house. My parents split when I was a kid and growing up Valentine’s Day was never about going to dinner with your sweetheart or some extravagant “romantic” gift. Valentine’s Day was about decorating heart-shaped cookies, and red and pink construction paper garlands, lots of Valentine’s, and sometimes even making candy or chocolates. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in college that I ever associated Valentine’s Day with my relationship status. Even now I prefer the Valentine’s Day of my childhood with paper hearts and frosted cookies to a couple dozen roses and a fancy dinner. (Not that I’d say no to roses or dinner, it’s just not part of my expectation because I’d rather eat pizza and cookies and snuggle in my pajamas.)
Every year at the end of January my Mom would pull out all the Valentine’s Day supplies, including boxes of stickers, patterned paper, pipe cleaners, glue, glitter, and yarn in a dozen shades of red and pink. My two sisters and I would carefully plan out and decorate our Valentine’s Day Pocket. What is a Valentine’s Day Pocket? Well, in it’s simplest form it is two paper plates, one cut in half, that are laced together to form a pocket (use a single hole punch around the edges and a long piece of yarn to lace them together). Then you decorate it and hang it on your bedroom doorknob. Every night my Mom would leave a small surprise in the pocket, something like a heart-shaped eraser, or a fun-size candy bar, or a sheet of Valentine’s stickers, or a pencil with hearts on it. On Valentine’s Day morning we’d usually get something a little more substantial like a fun pair of heart socks, or a hair bow (do you remember the bows of the early 90’s?! Hoo boy!), or maybe a new book or a T-shirt. This is one of my favorite holiday traditions, and I’m sad that more people don’t know about it. So, now you know. It’s kind of like the 12 Days of Christmas mixed up with Christmas stockings…only with hearts and glitter and all things cute and Valentine’s-y and in February when most people could use a little cheer that doesn’t revolve around whether or not they are single.
A few nights ago a lovely friend of mine, Ashley, hosted a craft night. Now, I am NOT crafty. I can make you dinner, but I don’t know what to do with scrapbooky stuff. I knew I would be a little out of my element, but I also knew I could make a killer Valentine’s Day pocket. I forgot to bring paper plates, but I traced a dinner plate onto cute scrapbook paper and went from there. The patterned paper actually made this whole process much easier and far cuter, we used to use wrapping paper but the scrapbook options are really really adorable. (My friend designs scrapbook paper, so she’s got PILES of it hanging around waiting to be used.)
I cut out a few hearts and attached them using glue dots (which I had never heard of before) to make them stick out a little bit. And then I added some sparkly gold stickers, two tiny clothespins (to match my strings of hearts) and laced it together with baker’s twin and a large quilting needle.
Now, I just need to get J-Mo on board for the filling up of my little pocket!
*As we got older, our pockets became more and more involved. We’d create Valentine robots out of shoe boxes and the little surprise would be dropped into one compartment and follow a tube or something to the “safe box” at the bottom so no one would steal our heart-shaped eraser or fun-sized candy bar. These creations would sit next to our bedroom door for 2 weeks collecting our Valentine’s Day loot.