It’s almost Valentine’s Day. My twins, who are in 5th grade, came home from school last week with a complete list of the names of every student in each of their classes and a note from their teachers saying, “If your child is going to participate in handing out Valentines, please make sure he or she brings one Valentine for each student in the class.”
This is the last year my kids will be in elementary school, which means it’s probably the last time I will have to think about the following three things: 1) Should I encourage my kids to make their own Valentines, or should I go the easy route and purchase boxed Valentine’s Day cards for them to distribute? 2) How much time and effort should they put into making their Valentines boxes, and should I help them make the most impressive boxes in the class? 3) Why does it seem like the concept of Valentine’s Day has become so much more commercialized since I was a kid?
Each year, when I debate the above three points in my head, it always brings me back to memories of what Valentine’s Day was like when I was in elementary school. I remember spending hours and hours hand making individual Valentine cards for each kid in my class. I also remember that “back in the day” it was never a requirement for kids to bring Valentines for each and every student in the class – and I remember always feeling sad for the kids who only got two or three cards when everyone else received 30 or more.
In my kids’ school, besides passing out Valentines cards in their classes on February 14, there are big parties in their classrooms on the big day, and parents are always invited to attend. Each year I try to be there because I know they like having me spend the afternoon with them. But over the years I’ve noticed there are always several children whose parents never attend, and I have always wondered how they feel about the fact that their parent(s) can not be there.
Next year, my kids will be in middle school, which means they will not come home with class lists in early February and notes from their teachers asking them to get their Valentine cards and boxes ready. There will no longer be school Valentine’s Day parties for me to attend. I’m already a little nostalgic just thinking about the fact that this year’s will be the last one.
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day cards? Do you buy the boxed variety or do you help your kids make their own? How about the Valentine’s boxes? Is it worth the effort to create something really amazing? Do you attend your child’s Valentine’s Day party at their school?