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What Valentine's Day means to 10 Long Island kids

Valentine’s Day and love have different meanings for everyone. We asked 10 Long Island kids what the holiday means to them and about their favorite Valentine memories.

Jeremiah Trey Lasmarias, 7, Levittown

Jeremiah Trey Lasmarias, 7, Levittown Who is your
Photo Credit: Sunday Jaranilla Lasmarias

Who is your Valentine and why? My mom, because I love her. 
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Loving people.
What does love mean to you? How you care for someone. 
What do your parents do for the holiday? Go out for dinner. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? Chocolate, because it’s sweet.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? Heart-shaped earrings. My mom loved my earrings. 
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? Cutting hearts out of paper. I colored it with markers. 
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? Chocolate kisses.

Lissanny Nunez, 10, West Babylon

Lissanny Nunez, 10, West Babylon Who is your
Photo Credit: Sonia Nunez

Who is your Valentine and why? My mom, because she does a lot for me. She cares about me and she’ll do anything for me, and I know that.
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? It means a day of friendship, love and a day of caring. 
What does love mean to you? A specialty in my heart. 
What do you do for the holiday? We usually go out to dinner and celebrate with friends and family.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? My laptop because it’s something I really wanted and was hoping to get for Christmas, but I got it a little later. It’s really important to me. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? I made a candle for my mom. I know my mom really likes candles and to smell them.
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? I used paper and some beads and I kind of made a poster. 
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? Chocolate.

Patrick McCullough, 5, Babylon

Patrick McCullough, 5, Babylon Who is your Valentine
Photo Credit: Liza Conlin

Who is your Valentine and why? My friend Giana, because I like her. She moved to another school.
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Being with the people you love and hugging.
What does love mean to you? Hugging.
What do your parents do for the holiday? Get chocolate.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? A big chocolate bar, because I like it. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? A heart that I drew, because I wanted to give it. 
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? Markers and lollipops. 
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? Chocolate. 

Penelope MacDougal, 6, Stony Brook

Penelope MacDougal, 6, Stony Brook Who is your
Photo Credit: Kristin Ryan Shea

Who is your Valentine and why? My dad, because he loves me very much. 
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? It’s special because you give out gifts to everybody, which are called Valentines. 
What does love mean to you? That it’s kind and you hug someone when you say I love you. 
What do your parents do for the holiday? They have off from work. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? My classmate Julia got me a Valentine’s Day craft, pretzels, gummy hearts and a new pencil. There were a lot of snacks and it’s nice to make a Valentine.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? I gave one to my friend Olivia who is in my class, a Hello Kitty filled with sparkly hearts and flowers. I made it myself. 
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? I made it at home. I used foam hearts and one sparkly one, foam flowers and one sparkly one, foam butterflies and one big one, and Hello Kitty stickers. One is Hello Kitty holding a crown and the other is Hello Kitty eating an apple.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? Chocolate Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and gummy hearts. 

Julian Kelly, 6, Islip

Julian Kelly, 6, Islip Who is your Valentine
Photo Credit: Jessica Johnson-Kelly

Who is your Valentine and why? Beckett, my brother, because he’s nice.
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Giving and sharing.
What does love mean to you? It means kind and helping.
What do your parents do for the holiday? Help me with making Valentines.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? My family, because I love them. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? Chocolate for my mommy, because it’s her favorite. 
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? Paper and scissors, and glue and crayons. 
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? Chocolate hearts. 

Sabrina Swirsky, 12, Massapequa

Sabrina Swirsky, 12, Massapequa Who is your Valentine
Photo Credit: Eric Swirsky

Who is your Valentine and why? Dad, because I love him. 
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? It’s a very loving holiday where people get candy and give love.
What does love mean to you? Someone you really care about. Anyone, really. A friend or a family member, and they make you happy. 
What do your parents do for the holiday? They go out to dinner. 
What is the best Valentine’s gift you ever got and why? A silver heart necklace from my dad. It was very special. 
What is the best Valentine’s gift you ever gave and why? I’ve sent candygrams to friends at school, and it made them happy. 
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? We made some in class with construction paper and glitter.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? I’ve got to say chocolate. Any chocolate.

Chloë Rose Broderick, 7, Valley Stream

Chloë Rose Broderick, 7, Valley Stream Who is
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Broderick

Who is your Valentine and why? My Valentine is my dad. When I’m at school, I make crafts with my teacher and I usually give them to my mom, but I want to give something to my dad.
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? It means that you’re showing your love to your family and friends.
What does love mean to you? It means that they’re kind and nice.
What do you do for the holiday? We go out to eat. We do Capital Grille.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? I got a card from my grandpa and my nana, and my grandpa gave me jewelry. I like necklaces and jewelry.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? The best Valentine’s Day gift I ever gave is to my mom. I have her this squishy that’s a heart, and it has something on it, but I forget. I surprised her with it when she came home from work and she put it on her keys.
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? I’ve made it at school. I made it for the veterans and I made it because it’s Valentine’s Day and we’re thinking about the veterans and soldiers. I used paper, and I used stencils and a heart tracer. There was a heart that was pointy, but not that pointy, and I used that one because it fit on the paper. . . . Then we wrote a short poem. My friend had animal stickers. I got a puppy and put it on the bottom and traced it with a purple marker.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? I would say that heart box with the chocolate in it. I’ve seen the box, but I’ve never seen the chocolates in it.

Daniel Auer, 9, Bay Shore

Daniel Auer, 9, Bay Shore Who is your
Photo Credit: Teresa Puntervold

Who is your Valentine and why? My mom, because I know her the best. 
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Love. 
What does love mean to you? Caring, kindness and hugs. 
What do your parents do for the holiday? Surprise me with gifts in the morning. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? Candy, because it’s delicious.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? A smiley face heart for my mom, because I worked hard.
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? I used paper and sparkly glue and googly eyes.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? The lollypop that’s a big heart.

Courtney Denegal, 11, West Babylon

Courtney Denegal, 11, West Babylon  Who is
Photo Credit: Courtney Denegal

Who is your Valentine and why? My mom, because she’s always been there for me and she takes care of me every day. 
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? It’s a time for me to give back to my loved ones and show them that I love them.
What does love mean to you? You have to care for somebody, you have to treat them the way you want to be treated and you have to be yourself. 
What does your mom do for the holiday? She surprises us with hearts. Maybe next year she’ll bake a dozen cupcakes and decorate the whole house. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? I would say when my mom got me a SpongeBob candy and she baked me so many cupcakes my eyes popped out of my head. It showed me how much she loved me and made me feel good inside.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? When I blew up a balloon and put confetti and all types of candy in there. I gave it to them and let them pop it. It was nice to see their reaction.
Have you ever made your own Valentine and what did you use to make it? I used construction paper and sticky hearts. I also glued candy to make a heart.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? I would have to say when my mom puts Starbursts into the shape of a heart.

Arnel John Amurao, 12, Hicksville

Arnel John Amurao, 12, Hicksville  Who is
Photo Credit: Jennifer Amurao

Who is your Valentine and why? My parents, because they care for me and they love me, and I love them back. 
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? When you show your love and appreciation. 
What does love mean to you? You care for them, you respect them and you’re kind to them. 
What do your parents do for the holiday? My dad usually buys chocolate and roses for my mom, and they go out to eat. 
What is the best Valentine gift you ever got and why? Our family went out to eat at a fancy restaurant and we had good food. After that we went home and relaxed and watched a movie. It was good to spend time with my family.
What is the best Valentine gift you ever gave and why? I made breakfast for my mom, and I wrote a card saying “I love you.” I put a lot of effort into it.
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy? Chocolate-covered marshmallows.

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