Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"love is kindness" tree

It seems like Valentine's Day has always been about a guy and a girl. I love the idea of having a holiday to gush over your sweetie, but ever since we had kids I've wanted to incorporate them into the holiday, too. When I was little, I'd wake up on Valentine's Day to find a special present from my mom. It was kind of her thing to give all of us four children something sweet. It felt like waking up to Christmas again! Sometimes it was elaborate but more often it was simple. And sometimes she would put it in a really random spot, like on top of my toilet. I remember that particular gift well, actually. A little white box with a silver heart necklace. A small gift but I felt loved and appreciated.

We were at Costco the other day, and I found some really adorable pajamas for the kids. I told Jonathan they were "Valentine's jammies" and he looked really confused. In the five years we've been married, Vday has always been between the two of us. I told him that I wanted to do it differently from now on and make it special for the kids, too, because we love them more than anything! Makes sense, right? He was totally on board. :)

And little gifts are great, but more importantly I want to show my kids what love means. I thought about it long and hard, and the phrase that kept coming back to me was "love is kindness". And a lot of other things, too, I know- but for their age- love is kindness. As I wondered how I could incorporate this into the holiday, I remembered going to a friend's house last February. She had paper hearts stuck to everything in her house, and each one said something that she loved about her kids. Every morning, each of her three children would find a heart with something written about them on it. I loved this idea because the children felt truly loved and special.

I decided to do something similar, but that we could use year after year. This is what I came up with!

This is our "love is kindness" tree. Every time someone in our family shows kindness, they get to put a heart on the tree. I'm hoping that it will inspire the kids to be more aware of their actions and want to be more kind. They've gotten really excited over this concept, and there's nothing cuter than seeing them carefully hang a little heart on a twig. :)

The hearts are felt and flannel because that's what I had laying around, but if I were to do it again I'd just use felt. Less fraying and the hearts are more sturdy. I stuffed them with a bit of poly-fill to make them poofy. You could also use these little hearts as decoration, like spread them out on the mantel or stick them in glass vase. I made 70 (allowing for ten a day) and at the end of each week we take them down and start over...because I did NOT want to make hundreds of these hearts. 70 was challenging enough, haha.

The "tree" is a branch that Jonathan cut off an actual tree in our yard. I patted down some dirt around it to keep it in place, and voila! Not only does it look adorable on our table but it is a constant reminder to all of us (especially me) to treat my family with more kindness. And trust me, I need that reminder. A LOT.

It's also providing a good opportunity to teach kindness to the kids, especially Talmage. I'm trying to make him understand that kindness means more than hugs & kisses & sharing. Even though those are ALL important :)

I'm definitely glad I did this, and even more glad that it didn't cost anything to make. I was just being KIND on our budget ;) (insert cheesy laugh).

Here's some more V-day decor- all of it is old except for the wreathe.

Can you tell I love this holiday? :) Happy LOVE month!


Bekah said...

You're so crafty. OH AND this post is so well written ;)

Lindsey Dennett said...

HAHA! Oh Bekah. Thanks for BOTH of those compliments ;)