Christmas was barely over and I began to see red! It’s hard not to be a little angry when Valentine’s Day is being pushed on us as prematurely as marriage was at every family event I went to in my twenties. I started noticing red hearts at every store by January first! The pressure to express our perfect love to our family before we have even gotten around to taking down the Christmas tree is unreal. And yet it still got me thinking about filling my home with the sent of fresh, red, velvety roses on the entry way table. Their delicate beauty would be there to greet my kids the moment they walked in the door even when I am not.  My boys may look indifferent to the whole beauty and love stuff, but I am breaking them down pretty petal by petal at a time.

As I stroll through the grocery store that has been converted into cupid’s web entrapping me with a forest of flowers, banners, toys and chocolates I see the plush pillows and I realize I am not getting out of this place until Cupid has bled my wallet dry. A fuzzy red throw blanket and three pillows with the words “Love”, “You” and “Forever” appliquéd on shiny fabric will make the pillow fights my boys have while watching movies seem a little less violent. Maybe?

Nothing is more romantic than delicious candles placed throughout the house displaying loving sentiments written in cursive. I grab a few of those then head to the isle containing the makings for a real love fest feast. A cake plate displaying frothy, mini cupcakes in shades of pink and white are just as appealing to the eyes as they are to the tastebuds! I imagine the joy on my family’s faces as they run through the kitchen where these are perfectly placed without any surrounding clutter to distract from the message I am seeking to send through them. It’s kind of a Hansel and Gretel hook except with better intentions because, let’s be honest, the way to the kids’ hearts is through their stomach. And I want their hearts.

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When preparing our home for Valentines Day simplicity is the key. Love is gentle and kind. It does not boast or envy. Love is not greedy, rather it shares itself. The retail industry displays it’s meaning of love like an animal in the wild would. We walk into the store and are overwhelmed by it’s aggressive nature. It takes from us what it wants and as soon as we leave the store we are left holding a bag that seems much less valuable than it did while still inside.

Decorating for the celebration of love shouldn’t look like Cupid just cleaned out his closet in our home. Shelves cluttered with so many hearts it makes one feel claustrophobic isn’t the goal. Valentine’s decorating should be an expression of gentle and kind reminders subtly placed. It should be thoughtful and pure, truly representing what’s in our heart for our family. It should be an exhibit of our kindness for the people we love the most.

How will you visually exhibit your love this holiday in your home?

By Guest Blogger: Rebecca Gates

DSC 9168 - Love is Kind. Love is Gentle.

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