Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gifts of Love

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Desmond was certainly on to something when he made that quote. Today is Valentines Day, the day that will either guilt you into buying stock in Hallmark or make your way through a bottle of red on your own. Or perhaps it will just be another day that goes on unnoticed.

As far back as I can remember, my Mom has celebrated Valentines Day. It was particularly important to her to make sure that we always had a special day to honor the gifts that God gave us, to her we were those gifts. Over the years my brothers and I would find ourselves with or without a special valentine in our lives, however, one thing we could always count on was a place-setting at Mom's table. Of course on Valentines day, there would be some little sweet treat wrapped in red tissue paper, a sweet card and a little paper cup filled with conversation hearts. It seems kind of cheesy but it's those sweet gestures we remember from our childhood that form the traditions we have now for our own families. I still do this same tradition with my family dinner even now, but with a little twist.
My husband and I never made it a tradition or habit to go out to eat on Valentine's Day (too expensive in the early years and far to stressful to get reservations). Instead, we started a tradition early on in our marriage where one of us would cook the dinner and the other would make dessert. Each year we would switch and that just became our "thing". My husband is an amazing cook and when he does jump into the kitchen you can bet you will be sitting down to a four star meal. For me, it’s just about the best gift of love there is., when someone pours their love and efforts into a meal. I truly appreciate that my Mom instilled in us at an early age that love comes in the little things that we do daily for one another. Cards and chocolates are sweet but being able to share a meal with the people you love or telling them daily how important they are far exceeds a Hallmark card... I’m jus' sayin'!

Little gifts of candy wrapped in red tissue

You guessed it - I got to make dessert this year. A simple dark chocolate bundt cake with fresh berries.
You can find the recipe here.