Years ago, before I was married, I hosted a Valentine’s Day party. I wanted to spend a few moments focusing on the essence of what love is, as sometimes it seems to me that our love antennas need a bit of a refocus. We can all do with a reminder every now and then, don’t you think? It’s not always easy to remember that LOVE (in all forms) is what truly makes the world go around.
When my friends arrived, they walked up a tea light lit staircase into a candlelit room filled with red felt heart mobiles hanging from every available light fixture, fan, and hook. There was a glass of bubbly pink lemonade and a love gift (a handmade necklace made with a modelling clay red heart pendant) waiting for each guest, together with a simple hand-drawn placecard.
The placecards were a token to inspiration and the building of comfort in a room full of people. Friends from all walks of life, old friends to me but many new to one another. I do love a little question card. I love that a few key words can spark the creation of new friendships and deep learning about oneself, and may also bring a dose of laughter.
My questions included:
- What is your favourite romantic memory?
- What is the most inspired love gift you have ever received?
- What gift in your life has meant the most to you? What was it and why? And who gave it to you?
- If you could travel anywhere for a get-away filled with ‘romance’ (even if you are by yourself), where would you go?
- Name the city or town that personifies ‘love’ for you. Tell us why.
- Name the love poem or saying that sends shivers down your spine?
- What is the best thing about love?
- Tell us about your funniest romantic moment.
(If you can’t think of enough of your own, Kikki K has some great little conversation starter packs, no matter what the occasion. They come in cute little boxes too!)
Hosting a Valentine’s party is such fun. There are so many possibilities of things to do. Here are some ideas:
- Make art together
I invited my guests to draw on my lounge room wall. Yes, years ago I owned a flat and one prominent wall was totally devoted to the artistic reckonings of those in my world- adults and children alike. I had always wanted to do something like this, and finally I had my own permission and blessing to do so. It was ever such fun to draw, doodle and scribble your heart out on a normally forbidden surface, and especially in a group. (Before the wall, some old pine furniture pieces had a similar adventure and that was fun too. By the way, I sold the flat years ago, and we painted over the designs- it took 4 coats of white!) Drawing heart-inspired motifs, invoking love poetry, and writing love quotes we remembered was our first act of love on the night. But if you don’t have a wall, why not provide small square canvases for your guests to keep, or possibly one large canvas and create shared art?
- Craft together. A simple hanging mobile can be made by using a love heart paper punch and cutting out shapes from paint chip cards from the hardware store. Hang them vertically on a long piece of twine and add a silly ornament or token to the bottom of the twine for a giggle moment.
- Share a breathtaking love poem or blessing.
- Bake biscuits together and wrap them up in red cellophane- make sure you have enough so each guest can take home two bundles, one for them and one to share.
- Share a meal. Invite your guests to bring along their favourite dinner food to share and rejoice in one another’s company as you indulge.
- Draw a picture of your perfect flower. The partner of one of my friends takes the time each year to sketch her a still-life of a beautiful flower. His mantra behind this act is that while a bunch of flowers may die, a flower captured by pencil or charcoal lives forever.
- Create an opportunity to write a love poem or thought
- Ask each guest to bring along a bunch of their favourite flowers and some information about their history, then share the scents around. Invite everyone to take one flower of each kind to make up their own take-home bouquet.
- Tell love stories. (These may be stories about any kind of love, not just romantic love)
- Eat dessert. We ate vanilla bean ice cream, with white chocolate kit kat wafers and strawberry sauce. A divine invocation.
- Share a sweet treat. Pink gets my vote. Try iced vovo biscuits, strawberry crepes, or strawberry marshmallows.
- Take turns making one another a cup of tea, coffee , or chai. When someone else takes the time to make you your favourite drink, and gets it just right, that is BIG LOVE right there. (Which is why I love it when my husband brings me a cup of tea unannounced when I’m reading before bed.)
- Prepare a home time gift- perhaps a crystal (pink quartz?) to add to a ‘love shrine’, or some love bubbles.
I think we could take one or two elements of a party like this and share a ‘love moment’ with our children too. Children teach us so much about the importance of the exuberant sharing of love. They don’t hold back, nor hold a grudge. They just send out love, love, and more love. Why not celebrate their wondrous ways and share a bit of Valentine magic with them too?