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.