Learn How to Make the Very Same Valentine's Day Gifts Martha Is Giving Her Friends and Family
So many poems, plays, and songs have been written about Valentine's Day. Geoffrey Chaucer connected the day to the mating of birds in early spring. Shakespeare referenced it in Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. And in the 18th century, the nursery rhyme "The Valentine" was first published in Gammer Gurton's Garland, inspiring endless variations on its opening lines: "The rose is red, the violet's blue, the honey's sweet, and so are you." For me, the day has always been an opportunity to express love and close friendship. I craft homemade presents for those dearest to me, and send cards to friends and relatives—and even a few flirtatious ones for a little fun.
This year, I gave something extra-special to my grandson, Truman; my granddaughter, Jude; my daughter, Alexis; and my dear friend Kevin Sharkey: heart-shaped boxes filled with gifts and treats picked just for them. Living style editor-at-large Naomi deMañana helped craft them, painting the cardboard heart boxes and embellishing them with contrasting colored paper. Then we topped them with graphic paper bows. (You can cut them out by hand with a template, but if you have a Cricut machine, that works well, too.) Painted dividers make their contents look especially neat and organized.
Whatever you choose to put inside—cookies, candies, costume jewelry, or fly-fishing lures for the angler in your life—remember to make it personal, and put your heart into it.
A Few of Their Favorite Things
For Truman, a Liverpool F.C. fan, Martha gathered wristbands, pencils, and other items featuring the soccer team's logo.
Jude will find hair ribbons, barrettes, and scrunchies in colors she loves; the barrettes are clipped onto two halves of a paper heart.
Alexis loves all kinds of fruits, so Martha packed an assortment, including dried persimmons, mango, figs, and apricots.
The ultimate candy fix for Kevin: an eye-popping sampler of chewy and salty licorice.