I stumbled upon this website, that makes little dolls they call "Momiji." They were created by a group of friends in Warwickshire, England. These adorable Kokeshi inspired dolls come with a little message inside.
For those who don't know what a Kokeshi Doll is, they were first produced by wood artisans in Northern Japan as tourist souveniers for people visiting the hot springs. Their name Kokeshi, is believed to mean "small wooden dolls": wooden (木, ki, ko) small (小, ko) dolls (芥子, keshi).
I chose to feature them, because I think they're a great gift for a holiday so focused on love and kindness. According to their website: "Momiji is inspired by friendship and little kindnesses. It's about filling life with memories and messages." These wonderful, ever changing collections of friendship dolls are hand painted and make for a really fun little unique gift.
I know, many say that Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday...that it's just another consumer frenzy holiday...so that stores can bank off of people feeling obligated to "buy stuff" for their loved ones, because if they don't they think that means they don't care. Well, I can agree with this stigma. I can sympathize. If you only take the time to show loved ones you care once a year, something is really wrong. And certainly if you only feel the need to get gifts out of societal pressure, that's even more wrong...
But I also have had a revelation in my life. A man who has made me look at life in a whole other light. My fiance. So now, I get it. I get what the day is about...Now- more than ever before. When you find a love like this, it is something that begs to be celebrated. Every day, not just once a year. But, in a world that is increasingly fast paced and based off of "instant" gratification, I think setting aside a day where you can make it all about you and the one you love without guilt or distraction is actually pretty special.
In addition, this past year was a tough one for me. I lost a best friend and it definitely changed a thing or two inside me. I always try to appreciate everything in my life. My family, my friends and all the wonderful things I have been blessed with...but losing someone so close to my heart definitely sparked something that is difficult to put into words. It was also a grim reminder that life is fragile and that it is not permanent. It was motivation to make my life the most that it can be. No regrets.
So, don't wait for Valentine's Day to tell the ones you love that you love and appreciate them! But I do think it's a great time to take a look at the love we have for others and make sure it is known. It doesn't have to be anything grand. To me, it's the little things in life that really mean the most. We can never know where or when life for us will end. So let's bring a new meaning to Valentine's Day. Let's remember what this day is all about. LOVE. Not material things. LOVE. BUT...who doesn't love fun stuff? Do something creative for the one you love...a treasure hunt, a photo montage professing your love for that person...make it personal.
I know, it's ironic that I have posted some material things. I'm aware of that. These things are certainly not necessary to make your Valentine's complete. Like so many things, it's not what you do necessarily that gets recognized, but the intention behind it. Bake some cupcakes or some sweet treat for that sweetheart of yours. Or if you don't have a sweetie to treat, share them with friends, bring something in for co-workers. Bring intention to your day, And don't forget, a smile goes a long way!
Check out these adorable Valentine's designed by Stephanie Fizer, available in her Etsy store.
These Valentines are such a fun spin on the typical store bought Valentine, so fun and fresh and full of personality!
Above, the Kokeshi inspiration of mine shows up again. I love the concept behind Kokeshi...messages of love and friendship and the spreading of love!
Thank you, friends and family for all of your love and support...without you all my life would be meaningless!