Today is February 8th. Valentine’s Day is February 14th. Which means in SIX DAYS the whole country will be swimming in chocolate and flowers and candy hearts!
And so we present to you this week’s Theme of the Week: Valentines! #bobbledyvalentines
Valentine’s Day is the day when you exchange candies and cards with all your friends at school and you make sure no one gets left out, because that would be totally lousy. Everyone likes to be loved!
Valentine’s day is actually named after a person. A person named Saint Valentine. (Actually, he wasn’t named “Saint” he was a saint. Please ask an adult what a saint is, because it’s WAY complicated – it has something to do with performing miracles, but Saint Valentine was around so long ago, nobody’s quite sure who he is or what the miracles he performed were.)
Here’s a painting from over SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS AGO showing St. Valentine:
I wish whoever painted this painting had thought to show St. Valentine actually performing a miracle, instead of just standing there watching some guys build a wall. Miracles are way more interesting than staring at a wall. I guess that is what we call “artistic license” – which means that artists can paint whatever they feel like. That’s pretty much why I like being an artist.
Some historians think that St. Valentine is thought of as the Saint of LOVE because when he was alive (almost TWO THOUSAND YEARS ago) the emperor of Rome (where he lived) said it was against the law for men to get married, because then they wouldn’t want to go off to war (if you had the option of fighting a bunch of people or eating chocolates out of a box with your true love, which would you pick?). And St. Valentine didn’t really like that so he secretly performed wedding ceremonies for people who were willing to break the law for love.
Here’s that killjoy of an emperor, Claudius II:
I show you this picture so you can see what a man with a stone cold heart looks like. I bet he didn’t make valentines for ANY of his classmates at school.
BUT – all that is HISTORY. Nowadays Valentine’s Day is all about showing someone you love them. Most people do this by making or writing a card. Around 144 MILLION Valentine’s cards are given out (or sent) each year.
Some people go the extra mile and give some candy with their Valentine’s card. Around 143 MILLION POUNDS OF CANDY is bought around Valentine’s Day every year. More than half of that 143 million pounds is chocolate – around 86 million pounds. Because who doesn’t like chocolate?
I think I could eat 86 million pounds of chocolate myself if you gave me a few days.
And you know those little candy hearts with sayings on them?
They’re only on sale for a month and a half, but they sell over 8 BILLION of them (that’s 8,000 MILLION!!!). But, just so you know, if you were planning on sending me candy hearts – PLEASE DON’T. I think they taste terrible – like eating chalk out of a port-a-potty. Blech.
Because Valentine’s Day is happening in only SIX DAYS, it seemed we ought to get a head start on making all the valentines the kids will need to take to school with them. We decided a card + candy combo is the way to go, and since the preferred candy around here is lollipops, we decided to make lollipop cards.
If you’d like to make something a little special for your friends, this is a pretty easy project.
First, get your lollies. The flat kind, not dumdums. It’s also remarkably helpful to have a list of everyone who will be getting a Valentine from you.
Then, get some red (or pink, or whatever) construction paper. Fold it in half long-wise, then fold it in half again. It should be long and skinny, not short and wide. Draw a half of a heart so that the point is on the fold. It should be about 4 inches from the point to the top of the round parts (this doesn’t have to be exact – it just needs to be big enough to fit over the lollipop). At this point, it should look something like this:
Then just cut along the line.
Once you’ve finished cutting, you should have two cut-out hearts that are exactly the same. And two holes that are exactly the same.
We’re actually not using the holes for anything. Which isn’t to say you can’t!
Next up: gluing. You’ll need to glue around the edge of one of the hearts, but stop gluing about an inch from the point on either side (there needs to be an opening big enough for the lollipop to go through). I helped Kato know where to glue by drawing a line first.
Once the glue is on, take the other heart, line them up, and stick them together.
Let the glue dry. Since you probably have about 30 of these to make, you should have no problem finding something else to do while it dries.
Once it’s dry, DECORATE!
We included our friends’ names on ours.
Since you’re sending someone a gift of love, you may as well enjoy doing it.
Once you’re done decorating, slide the lollipops in their covers through the gap at the bottom of the heart. And voila!
Lollicards! Or cardlipops! Whatever you want to call them! A little bit of card, a little bit of candy. It SHOULD keep EVERYONE happy. Maybe if someone had thought to send Claudius II some of these, back in the day, we might not have had to celebrate Valentine’s day at all, because he wouldn’t have been such a mean guy.
So – that’s it for this week’s theme announcement!
On Monday, Matthew will post his story related to valentines. On Tuesday, I will draw something valentine-related. And on Wednesday, we’ll test your LOVE knowledge with a new KidQuiz.
So stay tuned!
And just for fun: let me know in the comments what miracle you’d like to be able to perform and why, and you’ll be entered for a chance to become Champion of the Week (and you’ll get an archival fine art print from me!). Hopefully you’ll come up with something better than staring at a wall.
You can also instagram your cool valentines projects using #bobbledyvalentines to be entered as well!