Friday, February 13, 2009

Will You Be My Lame Valentine?

When did Valentine's Day become a second Halloween? Apparently it happened some time between when I left the 3rd grade and Declan went to preschool. In my day (Don't you love it when stories start like that? It's an indication that the person telling the story is an old fart.), you bought those boxes of 30 Valentines that you filled in the To/From, folded it over, dropped it in people's decorated Valentine's boxes, and that was it. Or am I imagining this?

At a Valentine's party in the 21st century, your Valentine box gets filled with loot. Here are the contents of Finn's box as an example:

Not only does practically everyone stick some sort of candy to their Valentine (thank you mother of the student who taped a pencil on instead), there are elaborate, handmade Valentines that required effort beyond name writing and folding. I just can't go there. Besides, I have boys who would think I was crushing the candy hearts and snorting them if I tried to get them to sit down and create Valentine works of art from doilies and craft foam.

Back in the day, Valentine party food consisted of one heart-shaped cookie and maybe some juice. Or again, am I delerious?

Now the food at your party is a smorgasboard of things that give your mother heart palpitations when she thinks about how you will behave when all the sugar and food additives hit your bloodstream--which is right after school when you arrive home all hopped up. Happily there are some healthier choices there now as well: Carrots and dip and chocolate covered strawberries--it makes my heart sing.

I fear I am the last holdout in this area. The boys take the foldover Valentines (Pokemon this year) and that's it. I sort of rank this up there with the favor bags that come home from birthday parties, which have practically become the size of Santa's bag on Christmas Eve. I protest. I protest it all.

I wonder if my kids will be branded as "those kids who only bring in the cheap foldover Valentines."

I blame it all on Hallmark.


Leeann said...

Nah, you aren't off the mark!

This is the first year we did give Valentines that had candy. The boys gave Spongebob ones that each had a Krabby Patty. After this year, I only have one child who will exchange Valentines because they stop all that at Middle School.

You also probably wouldn't like me much at Birthday parties. We don't do the goodie bags any more but we do give each child a large bar of chocolate to take home with him/her as a favor.

This year Trey did not have a party, Chris had sleepover and Kate hasn't done anything.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, parties are becoming ridiculous. But, I have to admit my kids did get the Valentines that came with candy. Only because it was cheaper than the ones without. I think they had to clearance out the ones with candy sooner, because they couldn't keep them until the next year, like the ones with candy. And

I don't do party bags for the birthday parties either. My poor kids still only get family birthday parties. One of these years I should let them have a real one. Their birthdays are in the summer so it's easier to get away with that. Shhhh don't tell them.

Have a wonderful week.

Robin said...

I had the opposite problem! My kid felt compelled to make original handmade Valentines for each child-- well at least the first 6 or so. After that I felt compelled to make her finish, so that we would be marginally fair. Thank goodness there are only 16 kids!

But did I mention that when we had finally finished the whole lot, and had gotten the grandparents' in the mail in barely enough time, we looked at the week's homework, and suggestion was to "make a special valentine for Jesus"? Can I say that my thoughts were not the purest at that moment?

It's all a parent can do to keep up with holidays. Bless you, Leeann, for the news that it stops at Jr. high-- there's hope!