By Tammy Davis
“I Love It When” started as a simple craft activity. It has turned in to one of my favorite Valentine’s Day traditions. This is a simple project for everyone – couples, families, teachers, and friends.
The idea is simple. I usually start on February 1. Each day, you take a strip of paper and write a message to your loved one. You make a loop out of the strips and connect the loops to form a paper chain.
I usually cut a stack of strips and put them on a tray with necessary supplies: paper strips in red and pink and lavender, tape or stapler, and a marker or pen. That’s it. The idea is to add at least one loop to the chain every day. By the time Valentines Day rolls around, you will have a paper chain of love hanging for all to see.
I love it when: you make sure I don’t leave without my glasses/my phone/my purse.
I love it when: you know my favorite cereal.
I love it when: you don’t fuss when my car is always out of gas.
I love it when: you make sure I get home safely.
For the classroom (student notes to teacher):
I love it when: you say every day is a fresh start.
I love it when: you always turn the tests face down on the desk so my friends don’t see if I make a bad grade.
I love it when: you sprinkle glitter on my head if I win the Sparkle game.
For the classroom (teacher notes to student):
I love it when: you cover your mouth when you cough.
I love it when: you share your gel pens with the girl who doesn’t have any.
I love it when: you say “thank you” as you’re leaving class.
For parents and children…
I love it when: you take the dog out for me.
I love it when: you put away my laundry even though I know I should do it myself.
I wish I had done this activity when my daddy was alive. I loved it when: he always bought us big boxes of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. He always got the big, heart-shaped ones. I really loved it when my box of chocolates had a doll on top of it one year.
You get the idea. I Love It When is a simple little project but it has big impact. No deed is too small or insignificant. Each day you add a link or two or and before long you have a paper chain of love filled with affirmations and appreciation.
On February 15 or whenever you’re ready, take the circles apart, stack the strips of paper, and put them in an envelope or a Ziplock bag. It’s fun to pull them out year after year.
I recently came across some strips that I had written for my ex-husband. It made me laugh to read some of them.
I love it when: you hold my hair back when I throw up. I love it when: you use Pine Sol and wash out the trash can that I threw up in. I love it when: you don’t get upset by how often I get sick. That must have been a particularly bad stomach bug season. He had a big collection of strips, and we had a big collection of memories. It was good and healthy for me to sit and read about all the many ways he took good care of us. That’s the whole point of this simple craft activity – to show appreciation to the special people in our lives.
Love is in the air this time of year. Every day, maybe several times a day, take a minute to write down something you love about someone else. Hang it up for all to see. My simple little “I Love It When” project serves many purposes. It’s a fun craft activity; it’s a pretty holiday decoration; and it’s good for all the relationships in our lives.
Get some paper and tape and a pen and get busy. I love it when…..
Tammy Davis is a local writer. She would love to see your “I Love It When” projects. She encourages you to email her at [email protected] or post photos on her website www.tammydavisstories.com or Instagram page @tammydavisstories. Davis’ book, Chin Up, Buttercup, is available on Amazon and Kindle.