Category: Valentine’s Day

Last minute Valentines Day gift for your Teen

Last minute Valentines Day gift for your Teen

Valentine’s Day is two days away and I have nothing at all planned for the children. It shouldn’t matter, except that they really look forward to something special. That’s of course my fault entirely for having spoilt them so. However, I do believe we should celebrate every occasion we can, as long as it doesn’t become a compulsion or a pressure. This year with exams coming on early and the pressure of tests and projects, we’re in dire need of cheering up but I’ve hardly had time to think of anything.

That is why I was looking for something quick and easy (and also free) that they would love. I’m taking a cue from something H did once. There’s a little bit of a story here, hear me out and then I’ll share my idea. So the thing is while H is the huggiest child when it comes to immediate family, he’s extremely shy when it comes to friends and extended family. It’s a joke of sorts, with everyone trying to hug him while he runs around trying to avoid them. Once when he was clueless about ideas for his aunt’s birthday, he made ‘Huggie Coupons’ for her which she could ‘encash’ at will in exchange for a hug from him. They were essentially bits of paper with ‘One hug’ written on them since H isn’t the crafty kind but his aunt loved the intent.

Privilege Coupons

That’s what I’ll be doing this year for the children. I’m making coupons which they can encash for special privileges. I like that it gives them a sense of choice, which is something teens are always fighting for. That said, I really thought through my ‘offers’. The option of not being able to fulfil any of them doesn’t exist. Both H and N are absolute Shylocks when it comes to extracting their pound of flesh and I shall forever be labeled ‘unfair’ and a ‘promise breaker’ if I dishonour a coupon.

Here’s my list of offers:

1. Weekend Movie Night Pick

2. Chore Free Day

3. Order Out Day
Cannot be used the same week as Pizza Night

4. A meal of your choice
24-hour notice required

5. Pizza Night
Cannot be used the same week as Order Out Day

6. Mama Hour
An hour of Mama’s undivided attention for an activity of your choice
We could read along, craft together, watch videos, your pick. It has to be on a weekend.

7. Weekend Coffee Date

8. Weekend Breakfast in Bed

9. Get Your Room Cleaned

10. Weekend trip to the mall
I included this one only because we have a small, very functional kind of mall right next to our apartment complex and I know the children love going to the mall but aren’t big on shopping.

I made my coupons on Canva. Click here if you want to try making your own. This is what they look like. I shall staple them together into a booklet, from which they can be torn out and given.

That’s the cover of the Coupon Booklet

This is a sample of the coupon

There are also loads of love-coupons-for-kids printables on the Net. You could try those. Or you could  design your own or, if you want to keep it really simple, cut out squares from fancy paper, write down your ‘offers’ and staple them together into a booklet. Easy Peasy.

A few pointers:

  1. Think in terms of activities (not things).
  2. Give them options you can see through.
  3. Add condition wherever you need to.

And you’re done.

Let me know if you try it.

Note: The coupons work for any age-group of kids and even for adults.

Setting up a tradition

Setting up a tradition

Do you like to write letters? Have you written to someone recently? I mean the real, physical ones, on those dainty letter heads? I used to write plenty of them, once upon a time. Now with whatsapp and FB messenger and of course our mobile phones I hardly get around to it.
The more close we are to people the less likely we are to write to them. It seems just too formal, right? Perhaps that’s exactly why we need to write to them – a formal declaration, so to say, of our love or appreciation, a recognition of the many ways they make our life special just by being in it. Seeing it in writing makes it that much more real because it can be read and re-read and preserved, the happiness relived many times over.
Am I getting too sentimental? Perhaps! It’s the mausam to get sentimental, isn’t it? Tomorrow is Valentines’ day after all.
Back to writing letters – I’ve never written one to the children. I have often left notes for H and N, small ones – in their tiffins, sometimes on their tables but I’ve never written a full fledged letter. I write to them on the blog and hope they’ll read it someday but I prefer to have heart to heart conversations rather than taking up pen and paper – tweens are an impatient tribe you see. 
However in their tenth year I think it’s time I began a tradition – a tradition of physical cards/letters. I think there may soon come a time when conversations will not always be easy. A tradition of writing to each other may then come to our rescue. It is somewhat of a backup plan that I hope to put in place to make sure our communication never breaks down completely.
This Valentine’s Day I shall write out my very first ones. They’ll be easy to write for they’re letters of love, a great way to begin a tradition.
How about you joining me in writing one to your son or daughter? Or to any loved one – a friend, your spouse, your mum, dad, your roommate.
If you’re not sure how to go about let me share what I will be putting into mine. Well, not the actual letters of course, for those will be very personal, but a template of sorts. Take a look. I guess much of it is applicable to anyone you love.
1. I love you because…
you give the warmest hugs, the sweetest smiles
2. I love how you’ve grown to…
become more sensitive, more caring
3. I am proud of you when
I watch you sharing without complaining, when you talk of books you’ve read or facts you’ve picked up
4. I like how you take responsibility
to lay the table, to make your own breakfast
5. I know I can trust you to
be on your own at home, run errands for me
6. I notice the little things you do like…
switching off the lights, picking up trash off the society lobby
7. I love it when we…
read a book together, watch a film together, bake together
8. You amaze me..
with your insatiable curiosity
9. You make me laugh when you…
make your ‘cute face’, do your ‘happy dance’
10. The best thing about you is that…
you make friends so easily, you are quick to realise your fault.
There, that’s it. All you have to do now is get some paper and a pen and write your heart out.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m in charge of my celebrations

I’m in charge of my celebrations

The twins had a poem by Byrd Baylor in their last unit titled ‘I’m in charge of Celebrations’.
It is about a girl who lives alone in the desert. She’s not one bit lonely, though. She makes  her own celebrations. She celebrates sandstorms, rainbows, meteor showers and whirlwinds. She celebrates whatever makes her happy and writes it down in a little book because she ‘wants to remember it all her life’. “Last year I gave myself 108 celebrations other than the ones they close school for” she says.
Isn’t that delightful?
Here we are, living in a wonderfully vibrant country that embraces all kinds of people and gives us hundreds of real reasons to celebrate. However, we’re so constricted by the narrowness of our own minds that we’d much rather give it all a miss. We’d rather go out and mess up other people’s celebrations, or make fun of them, or label them anti national or post caustic updates on our Facebook and twitter feeds.
We’d rather celebrate hate than love.
With Valentine’s Day round the corner the debate of ‘should we shouldn’t we’ is sure to come up yet again. How about we let everyone be in charge of their own celebrations? And get busy planning our own. Just for a change, maybe?
Where did my babies go?

Where did my babies go?

Warm cuddly nights

A tiny hand wrapped around my finger
Baby hands reaching out for me
A spark of recognition in a bright pair of eyes
A toothless smile
Uncertain feet staggering around
A lisped out ‘mama
A tight hug after the first day at school
An invisible hurt that needed a caress
The best of time.
Then they grew up and all of that seemed a dream.‘I can make my own ponytail,’ she insists.
No hugs at the bus stop, please mama,’ says he.
You don’t need to watch us while we play,’ they roll their eyes!
No longer do they follow me around.
No longer am I needed all the while.

Where did my ‘babies’ go?

And then I see..
A half tucked in t-shirt needing attention.
‘Combed’ hair that refuses to sit.
A small hand tightening in mine as a dog strays too close
The call of ‘Come na ma‘ as they dance to crazy music
A ‘You have to read this one, mama.
A ‘just like that’ hug when I least expect it
That’s when I find them again.
Yes they’ll need me –
For cheering at the football match
For clapping at their graduation
For blowing up when they stay out late
For celebrating their first jobs
For crying at their weddings
For pampering their children
For that hug they’ll want but might not ask forYes they’ll need me always

and they’ll remain … my babies.Always!

Sending out warm wishes to everyone on Valentine’s Day. Hope you have a warm and wonderful time with your loved ones.

100 Happy Days – Week 6

100 Happy Days – Week 6

It’s Week 6 at the 100 Happy Days Challenge . For the first time since I started off, it’s been truly a challenging week, which is why this post is late in coming. No point doing a happy post when you’re not feeling happy. The happiness won’t shine through.. I’m just not a good enough writer!

But obviously this had to happen, right? Or else where’s the challenge? The important part is that I’m back. How can one be unhappy too long in this week of love.. huh?

Here’s my list..

Happiness this week is..

1. .. Getting a clean chit in the medical report 

Yay!! I maxed it! I got an all-clear other than a very marginally high Cholesterol.

2. … laughing over culinary disasters

In honour of the impending V-Day celebrations I tried to make heart-shaped jelly.. the instant one which needs just hot water to set. I thought I’d pour it out into the moulds and it would be perfect for V-Day. Knowing my history with all things culinary I went for a trial. It looked so perfect sitting in the moulds that we were all thrilled. But the moment I tried to demould it, it just ran.. everywhere. How I could mess up such a simple recipe is beyond me. But I did. The happy part was when I mixed it with chopped bananas H pronounced it ‘perfect’. Then both of them clinked glasses and ‘drank’ some of it too.

I used to think I should completely give up cooking but the amount of entertainment it provides me and my family makes me go on.

3. … a smile from a stranger

The other day I was on my way back from the gym and was trying to cross the road on my scooter. I must have held up this lady in her car for a good few minutes before I realised it. I threw her an apologetic look but she just smiled back an ‘it’s okay, take your time’ kind of smile. So made my day.. and gave me an idea for a post here!

4. .. The Husband taking an unexpected holiday

This one’s such a rarity when your husband’s a workaholic. With kids all over the place and the TV blaring, shared moments of peace are to be truly treasured.

5. .. a bucket of caramel popcorn

…while watching a film. I’m still not sure what I like better.. the film or that popcorn. The thing is – the film might be a risk but the caramel popcorn’s dependably delicious.

6. … a V-Day card 

N ‘made’ me this card. If you’re wondering why it’s a Mother’s Day card.. well so am I! I think that’s all she could find in her card-making kit. But then does it matter??

7. … FB messages on Valentine’s Day 

Reading through the varied messages of love being sent out to friends and family fills you with amazing warmth. Too ‘mush’ love! 😀

… and I’ve just realised I’ve done a red red post! So folks how was your week? Happy, busy, rushed, relaxed? Do share here.