Valentine's Day is Stupid with a Capital S.

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I spent twenty minutes last Sunday afternoon on a mad dash through my local Target, looking for Valentines for my kids to give out to their classmates. For the record, running through Target like you’re a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, with your husband chasing after you and yelling things like, “are you done yet? The Super Bowl starts in twenty minutes. Are you done yet?” is not all that conducive to a pleasant and efficient shopping experience. But nonetheless, I escaped with several dozen bags of candy, some cellophane-ish baggies with red twist ties, two packs of make-your-own Valentines for the girls in her class, and another pack of pre-made, Indiana Jones Valentines for the boys. And we still arrived at my mother-in-law’s with three minutes to spare before kickoff. [Insert double fist pump here].

 

While my husband and the other guys watched the game and pounded their chests and acted like guys, my daughter and I spread out on the dining room table to assemble the make-your-own Valentines for her girlfriends. If you read my post last year, you might recall that I think Valentine’s Day is Stupid with a capital S. To summarize, I think it is Stupid to a) spend twice the amount of money on flowers and dinner as these things cost on any other day of the year, and b) give your children copious amounts of candy that will rot their teeth, just so that your spouse/children will know that you love them. May I suggest that you tell your spouse/children that you love them on a daily basis, and do away with this holiday entirely, as I have. Well, not entirely, because it seems that in order to be accepted into mainstream society, your child must present Valentines, accompanied by copious amounts of candy, to all of the children in his or her class. Which means that I must go to Target on Superbowl Sunday to buy them, because I learned last year that if you wait until the day before, all of the good Valentines are gone, and your child will then throw a huge tantrum about the fact that she has to dole out Sponge Bob Squarepants and Scooby Doo Valentines to all of her friends.

 

deceo
02.12.09

Oh my god - I can't stand the Valentine's Day madness. It is so promulgated by consumerism and then just so blown out of proportion by schools and martha stewart! Kids are spending their time making 20 homemade valentines cards (because, unlike when we were in school - and in the spirit of everyone gets a trophy - everyone has to get a valentine)! They really aren't the ones making them - the moms are. Ok, ok - yes, there are the occasional families that are so artistic that it comes naturally to them and it is fun to spend the time making them. For the rest of us, even the thought of going to the store and buying 20 X # of kids in your family cards, candy or whatever is unnerving!! If the classrooms want to do something, a small party is a good idea. If people want to do cards, put them in the mail! That will cut down on the stress, especially now that the price of stamp is going up again. (A whole other subject to rant about.) : ))

nabbie
02.11.09

Ha! This is a great post...and oh, so true! My kids are only 3 1/2 and 5 months so I have a while before the Target sweep! But, I do agree that it is stupid. I always thought it was stupid. Even when my first husband proposed to me on Valentines Day a hundred years ago...I thought it was very tacky. I guess it is fun for the kiddos to get Valentine's at school. Think about it, remember how excited we got when we got a card from the boy seating two seats over from us. Nevermind his mommy says he HAS to give EVERYONE in class a card. We felt so special! I wish that's all it took these days to make a person feel special!!!

ginnylou
02.11.09

One other note about my 6 month old's Valentines...The main reason I caved was because I saw a box at Walmart of 32 Valentines for $1.50 (which I'll also use this year!). It tickled my "It's really not that big a deal, you're spending more time fighting it than the 5 minutes it'll take to do it" bone. Desperately, I wish I had your energy to fight it! However, when the $850/month daycare sends out lists of books they want donated to the class...or Christmas lists for the teachers...etc, etc, etc...then I find the energy!!

mom2cne
02.11.09

In year's past, my son couldn't care less about valentines. I take him to the store and show him what is there. He can pick one of them but I WILL NOT run all over town wasting time, gas and energy, looking for the "perfect" cards. I did offer to design some for my daughter because she wanted halloween valentines but I wasn't running around looking for anything.

This year, there is a girl in his class that he has a crush on so all of the valentine's are unaddressed (I'm too lazy for all that, he can write his name and the rest I don't care about), except her's. Not only did he insist on putting her name on the card, he put stickers on it and really made it nice :)

katbur2
02.11.09

I hate the whole concept of school valentine's day. Let the kids have a damn party if you want but doing this just adds more work to my life. And I don't know about any of you but every name is not spelled non traditionally so I can't even try to write some of these out without the kids being present or the list.

Our solution? Hubby and I do the damn cards, don't spend money on anything for ourselves. The in June Grandma and Grandpa watch the kids and we go to Bonnaroo. Happy Valentine's day sweetie!
http://aftercancernowwhat.blogspot.com

ecn
02.11.09

I used to stress out about the classroom side of Valentine's Day too, but this year, I decided to skip the stress + order pre-personalized cards from RedStamp.com that I could just stick into an envelope + send off to school. It also helps there is a no candy rule at school...

desperately_see...
02.11.09

Here is the thing... there is absolutely NO reason to give 6 month old (or even 19 month old) children Valentine Cards! When I had my children(6 and 8yo) I discovered something... namely, that there was no one on this Earth that could make me do something I didn't want to. I also discovered that most of the moms feel EXACTLY the same way. It is a waste of money to give cards to most children. They are going to bring them home, show their parents and then mom is going to chuck them in the trash! Period.
I feel exactly the same way about birthday parties. My children do not attend parties if the child that has invited them is not a part of their life beyond school or whose name does not come up in conversation regularly. I would prefer not to send gifts at all... especially since (if you are like me) you are wondering where you are going to put the new toys, and how long before your eight year old boy is going to break them. Yet another waste of someone else's hard earned cash. I make an exception for the children that fall into the above listed categories.
It is not that I am an uncaring person, but my time and resources are limited. I do not care to spend either on someone else's idea of what is acceptable.

pamelazilch
02.11.09

What? Candy? Oh, I think I may have missed the boat here - do I need to go get candy?? Candy was thankfully taboo at her Montessori school last year.

In Kindergarten last year my daughter gave everyone the same card - I was totally surprised this year when she informed me that we had to get different cards for different genders.

So how does she know this and I do not?? I must have blanked out entirely on first grade (and second through sixth also). I think I need a primer on elementary school
Pamela
http://www.momqs.com

cagirls
02.10.09

You don't *have* to attach candy/treats to the little paper cards! Sure, my kids always beg me to buy the boxes of conversation hearts or lollipops, but it's not in the budget. Plus, I know for a fact that not one kid is going to remember that my Emma did not attach candy. Trust me on this one! I know from years of experience.

My oldest daughter is now in sixth grade where Valentine cards are just no longer cool. Instead she cut out six little hearts that say "thanks for being my friend" and attached a set of three of her favorite recipes. How sweet is that?
See? It does get better.
Kate
www.deliciousaspie.com

ginnylou
02.09.09

I had no idea how soon the Valentine's Day madness would overtake me until my son's daycare sent home a list of children's names in his class so that he (read "Mommy") could send Valentines to each one. He was six months old!! I tried valiantly to rebel, but eventually caved to the imagined peer pressure. Now I'm staring down the barrel of this ridiculousness again...albeit with a much more mature 19 month old!