Father Valentine

“Did you hear a knock at the door?” The mother asked her children, who had been busy babbling on about their school day with each other after dinner.

“No?” The eldest replied.

“I didn’t!” Said the middle child.

“I think I heard something…” The youngest stated, looking towards the porch.

Remembering just what the day was, the eldest sat up with a hopeful expression. “Maybe Father Valentine came?!”

“Perhaps! You best go check.” The mother smiled, rising so she could gather the dinner plates up. The three children scurried out into the porch, the front door heard to open before their excited laughs and gleeful cries echoed back to her.

They ran in clutching little red bags, filled with a small selection of candy. Little chocolate hearts wrapped in red foil, small tubes of Love Hearts, candy bracelets for the youngest girl, and candy wrist watches for the two boys, as well as a selection of jelly sweets.

“Now, you know you won’t have any afterwards if you’re having sweets.” Their mother warned. The eldest looked a little crestfallen, but nodded regardless as they all departed upstairs, rushing past their father as he came back into the kitchen.

“How’s the weather going to be tomorrow, love?” She asked her husband.

He smiled softly. “I don’t know, I’ll have to catch it later.” Pulling her in for a cuddle, he wrapped his arms around her as they stood by the sink. “Happy Valentines Day.”


Author’s Note: Father Valentine, or Jack Valentine as he’s sometimes known, is a Norfolk tradition. We’d wait for the knock at the door, just gone dinner time, and rush out to find little bags of treats left for us. The history of the tradition is unknown, but amongst local households, it still persists and will hopefully be passed down to the next generation.


2 thoughts on “Father Valentine

  1. It’s not just local to Norfolk any more! Certain folk of my acquaintance brought the tradition up North, so there have been plenty of cries of “Thank you Father Valentine” from Lancashire doorsteps this past week 🙂

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