15 February 2015

A Carnaval Valentine

Carnaval is upon us once again in the south of the Netherlands. Little Man had been planning his Darth Vader costume for months and was ready tohave fun dressed up with his friends at school. He was also excited to do something a little different for Carnaval with his friends because this year, Carnaval weekend happens to fall the same time as Valentine's Day.

Darth Vader found his mother's lack of
faith in him to wield a "real light saber"

Valentine's Day hardly registers a blip on the Dutch adult's radar - it's really not a thing here, or at least not in a tangible sense in the stores. You can find some pink and red hearts in some of the stores, but there are no special sales, no rush on chocolates, and the florists aren't seeing red at the thought of one. more. rose. That also means that there are no little heart shaped cards or those vile candy hearts getting passed around in classrooms, either.

For the most part, Valentine's Day hasn't really registered a blip on our radar, either. When we first started dating, in my anti-commercial idealism I told Mark that if he did anything on Valentine's Day I would break up with him on principle of detesting the commercialization of love. That's true love, right? And we never really paid any attention to it after that. Because Hallmark. *shakes fist*


Valentine's Day does delicious bring heart shaped sugar cookies from Mark's Grandma's own recipe. In college, Grandma would send a care package stuffed with cookies for Valentine's Day, and when we got married Grandma and Grandpa gave us the recipe and heart shaped cookie cutters that have followed us through our many moves. The only sign that it is Valentine's day in our house is that the cookies will make an appearance. Unfortunately, the devil appliance that we dealt with in our last home prohibited their cakey goodness in 2013 and 2014, but this year they returned with my real oven!

A photo posted by Ace Callahan (@arcbcrafts) on

Since the cookies are such a special thing, Little Man and I talked to his teacher about bringing some along for the class when they celebrated Carnaval in class. He was so excited to help cut them out and dump sprinkle the decorations on. He told his friends about how kids in America give cards or treats to friends on Valentine's Day and how he had made cookies to share with them. It's cute - like having a miniature goodwill ambassador right there in the class.

I have no idea what the kids thought about Valentine's Day, especially based on the description from a 5 year old that's never really seen it celebrated in America. I do know that they happily accepted the cookies. I would have, too.

A photo posted by Ace Callahan (@arcbcrafts) on

Have you seen Valentine's Day celebrated (or not celebrated) abroad?


  1. How cute he wants to share his Americanisms with the class! In Sweden Valentines Day is a middle ground holiday, not overly done but you do see a few special things in the stores. I like though that instead of Valentines they call it All Hearts Day!

    1. All Hearts Day is cute, and it's refreshing that it's not this crazy, over-the-top holiday that it can be in the states. But the cookies are totally worth it! ;)


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