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Earlier this week, while dropping by the home of a woman I know, I admired the pair of potted 4-foot Christmas trees flanking her front door. They were artificial but looked so real. There were no ornaments, just twinkling white string lights.

Maybe, she said, I’ll decorate them for Valentine’s Day.

When it comes to decorating our homes, Valentine’s Day doesn’t come close to Christmas and Halloween. Still, love is in the air, and some people just can’t help hanging a cute Cupid flag in front of their homes. Or filling up a glass bowl with candy conversation hearts. Or hanging pink and red decorations on the Christmas trees still displayed on the front stoop.

This is particularly true when children are in the picture. I remember one year when my daughter was in elementary school, she talked me into buying this incredibly gaudy heart-shaped wreath covered in bubble gum-pink spangles that sparkled in the light – especially when you shook it like a tambourine. She loved this wreath, so up it went on the front door for all to see, sparkling like mad.

Another year, we cut out pink and red hearts in several different sizes from construction paper and hung them in all five front windows. Plenty of cut-out hearts went into each window – I half expected someone to stop by thinking we were a candy shop or florist – but it was a fun project even though it required lots of tape.

Back in those days, I even used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape her sandwiches.

Do we ever outgrow the fun of cutting out hearts from construction paper folded in half? Or making our own valentines using white paper doilies and more red construction paper? Or decorating heart-shaped cookies with pink and red sprinkles? Gee, I hope not.

But it doesn’t happen as much once our children get older.

Still, I always enjoy looking at pictures of fireplace mantels decorated with red pillar candles, roses and tall jars of red and pink candies. I remind myself to pull out my grandmother’s pink floral china that seems so well suited to the day. I smile when I see heart-shaped wreaths in stores and remember how the February winds finally did a number on our pink spangled one.

I know. I still have a week to go out and buy a replacement. I think I’ll cut out some paper hearts first.

email: smartin@buffnews.com