"Life Cycle Ceremonies a Handbook for your
Whole Life -
Eco-Friendly Valentines By Kristine Bentz"
In the years since their nineteenth-century origins, simple and loving Valentine’s traditions have given way to a commercialized hustle of candy, roses, and singing cards. But handcrafted gifts still lend a special air to Valentine’s Day—and any other day!
PREPARATION First, focus less on commercially driven gifting. Instead, look for more spirited and environmentally friendly exchanges between sweethearts, friends, family, and even animal companions. Second, open up your great imagination to the flow of creative juices.
A MENU OF ONE-STEP VALENTINE RITES Here are a few ideas for infusing Valentine’s Day with friendly spirit and eco-friendly creativity this year. • Write a poem to someone beloved and embellish it with symbolic items or drawings. Show love for Earth as well by placing your poem on handcrafted recycled or natural materials.
• Gather friends for an evening of home-cooked foods and storytelling about love gained, sustained, or lost.
• Create homemade biscuits for animal companions. Share them with canine companions at the dog park, equine buddies at the stable, or feline fans in your building.
• Have a collage party to celebrate love. Ask invitees to gather objects of meaning that represent all the aspects of love. These may be found in a jewelry box, in nature, in storage, or at the thrift store. Guests may also bring their own picture frames, small altars, clay pots, memento boxes, and other objects and use collage to decorate them.
Bring your own spin to any of these ideas. Or just celebrate your friends and loved ones with less superfluous fluff and more heartfelt care. Be surprised—and enjoy!
KRISTINE BENTZ is a Life-Cycle Celebrant® with certification in Weddings, Funerals, and Ceremonies for Healing. She lives in the Sonoran Desert with her life partner and their animal companions, an opinionated white mare and two kittens. Kristine can be reached through her website, www.sweetgrassceremonies.com