I will be the first to admit that I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. In fact, I may be guilty of having called it the “Mardi Gras Distraction Holiday” on more than one occasion. However, as we settle into 2021, it’s good time to celebrate the people we love and help support some local businesses – and getting our kids involved in that is a lot easier than it seems.
While Valentine’s Day is often a holiday about parents having a “date night,” incorporating kids into the event is a great way to teach them about relationships in general and the different types of them they will have as they get older. It is also just a good way to indulge in chocolate, flowers and crafting.
Perhaps the best way to get kids in the Valentine’s Day spirit is to have them make their own Valentines or even fill out store-bought ones for friends. In addition to their friends, however, this is also a time to have them do a little reflection on the people in their lives and instill a love for letter writing. Encourage them to send letters to grandparents, aunts, uncles – even if they live close by. Helping kids express love and gratitude for the various people in their lives can be something made even more special with fun stationary. Scriptura on Magazine Street can even help you create custom stationary for your child. They also always have fun and often locally themed cards for each holiday season.
While February is often colored in purple, green and gold, there’s room this year for red and pink. Now is maybe one of the best times to pick up some heart-shaped cookie cutters and molds and indulge in some chocolate treats. A Valentine’s Day breakfast with pink pancakes or a Valentine’s dinner at a local restaurant, including dressing up, can make the event seem more special. Meanwhile, there are a fair smattering of chocolate shops to indulge in. Piety and Desire Chocolate on South Broad Street has an eclectic selection of bonbons made with cacao sourced with Direct Trade or Conscious Trade principles and tempered with unrefined Louisiana cane sugar.
Of course, Valentine’s Day is also about flowers, but you don’t necessarily have to buy a dozen long-stem roses to mark the event. You can pick flowers in your garden or even go a step further and plant some flowering plants (assuming spring weather has arrived by the end of February as it sometimes does). If you want to step up your flower game, a brightly colored building at the turn downtown on Magazine Street is home to Harkins, the florist. While they’re (to date) not letting people in the shop because of COVID restrictions, their website allows you to build arrangements and arrange contactless payment and curbside pickup or delivery. They also have a series of cash-and-carry bouquets that can be a quick surprise on your way home.
While the stresses of the past year aren’t going to disappear immediately as we continue into the New Year, now is perhaps the best time to reflect upon and recognize the people that we care about. We have spent a fair amount of time distanced in the last few months and sending Valentines can be another way to bring us together.
➺ Just the Facts:
5423 Magazine St. | 897-1555
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Piety and Desire Chocolate
2727 South Broad Ave. | 797-1709
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Harkins, the florist
1601 Magazine St. | 529-1638
Open Mondays-Fridays 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. & Saturdays
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.