Lexington, KY – As a young girl I would arrive to school each February 14th with a pink, construction-paper covered shoebox tucked under my arm and a handful of Charlie Brown Valentine cards (my favorite) stuffed inside. I would place the box on my wooden desk and secretly hope, as most little girls do, that a note from a secret admirer would be waiting for me at the end of the day.
But I now know as a mother of three boys and aunt to three nephews, little boys typically aren’t thinking about writing Valentine notes to girls … unless that girl happens to be their Mama, which I am totally OK with.
After spending 13 of these romantic holidays as a wife, I am still hopeful for that sweep-me-off-my-feet Valentine experience, but I also know for many husbands (mine included), boyfriends and want-to-be-boyfriends, pulling off a Prince Charming Valentine surprise can be a daunting, and maybe even impossible, task.
This year I have decided to take the pressure off of my other half. Instead of hoping and hinting for the card, the date, the flowers, the chocolate, the diamond, I am choosing to appreciate the romance in thoughtful time spent together. And with this list of playful ideas, maybe you will too.
Make a Batch of Cordial Together
Most men would jump at the chance to become a mixologist for the day, and a woman’s heart can always be won through something related to “Anne of Green Gables.” I kid … OK, not really. Most women will fondly remember the raspberry cordial scene between Anne and her best friend, Diana, and will happily join in on some cordial-making fun.
Recipes for homemade cordial vary. Some call for macerated berries boiled down with sugar and some even include raspberry jam. A number of recipes can be enjoyed right away, while others take months to develop. I stuck with the most original recipe I could find, which takes three months of patient waiting to enjoy. All good things come to those who wait, right? Cheer up. You can use the left over vodka in a post-cordial Valentine cocktail.