By Sarah Corbin
My grandmother seemed to set the tone for much of our holiday celebrations. Her giving nature, her ability to find quirky humor in the everyday and her welcoming heart set the example for the rest of us. Honey, as everyone called her, had a particular approach to Valentine’s Day that made an impact.
Over the years on Valentine’s Day, I have always appreciated the hugs from my mom or the simple candy my dad would bring home from his school fundraiser. In college, when my mom would send cookies, or popcorn, or flowers to cheer my day, they always did. And my family always does their best to keep up the magic of Valentine’s Day with plenty of love notes.
We try and follow Honey’s example every year by treating co-workers and friends to heart candies and cupcakes or humorous trinkets. My children and I prepare for the day with homemade valentines made generously with red glitter and doilies. We look for weeks before Valentine’s Day for perfect gifts for those we love and care about.
With the approval of beekeeping in Oak Park, it seemed appropriate to choose the bee and honey as a theme for our Valentine’s section this year. Valentine’s Day which sits on the cusp of spring seems perfectly positioned as a reminder that gardens are soon to be in bloom. I have to say a special thanks to our own Debbie Becker for helping to connect the dots a bit for us. She’s written a wonderful piece about bees, beekeeping and St. Valentine.
In the spirit of the day, I hope we can all carry an extra bee like flutter in our hearts. My grandmother, Honey, would tell us to be extra sweet and caring to our friends and neighbors. She would urge us to spare some extra space in our hearts to embrace everyone and their uniqueness. Me personally, I think she had it right. And the bees, well they work pretty hard to do some beautiful things in the world, their labor of love so to speak.
Click here to view the full print section or click on any of the sections below to explore the 2012 Valentine's Day Gift Guide.