Valentine’s Day lament

Photo of a robot fashioned out of a small piece of cardboard with Hershey's Kisses for eyes, mini chocolate bars for feet and sticks of gum for arms.

I recall from my youth that Valentine’s Day in elementary school involved mass distribution of store-bought valentines. With the exception of this awesome little robot and a few other handmade valentines my daughter received, store-bought is still the standard.

It seems the corporations have succeeded in making Valentine’s Day another Halloween. The valentines she brought home on Friday were carried in a sack laden with candy. And, of course, the selling of candy began in January because the stores know we adults will buy some and eat it, and then buy some more when the holiday actually grows near.


10 Responses to “Valentine’s Day lament”

  1. anjii says:

    Within our immediate family, we make our own cards, but I gotta admit I have no desire to make (or help Wyatt make) 20 cards for the whole preschool, or next year, 30 for Kindergarten. I fully and shamelessly admit to spending $4 on a box of mass produced rectangles! I agree about the candy though… our kids get ZERO candy from us in their stockings, valentines, easter baskets, etc… because they already get too much from Grandparents and other random sources like school. Instead, we get one or two small gifts for them, and the homemade cards for V-day.

    February 14th, 2010 at 11:11 am

  2. AJ says:

    Is there a minimum class size where you live? In California, K-2 classrooms are limited to 20 students and a school gets fined every day that limit is exceeded. Before that, we had time in two preschools and neither celebrated holidays.

    The robot was likely made by a parent. My daughter made 16 cards herself, and they indeed look like they were made by a 5-year-old.

    February 14th, 2010 at 11:59 am

  3. anjii says:

    Oops! I was kind of jumping ahead, remembering my own class sizes of 30… our maximums are as quoted.

    “In B.C., the class limits are 22 students for kindergarten, 21 for grades one to three, 28 for grades four to seven, and 30 for grades eight to 12.”

    But unfortunately, those limits are exceeded on a regular basis, (1,660 greivances were filed by teachers this year for excessive class sizes), and the limit doesn’t take into account how many special needs children are included, which of course increase the workload, unless they have an aide. Which many, including my autistic nephew, have been denied.

    February 14th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

  4. Noreen says:

    Well we bought our valentines as we needed 70! Yes 70! 43 for preschooll (it is two classes but they have snack together), 5 for the teachers, 20 for my other daughter’s class and 2 teachers (she has a student teacher in her class) plus we made one for her kindergarten teacher last year. Now I we did cop out on making the valentines but we did make crayons for each of the valentines. Over 70 layeres crayons (layering made it even more work but that is what my girls wanted to do)! We made hearts, flowers (big and small), puzzle pieces, plus signs and dogs. I listed the instructions on my blog too if you want to take a look. We thought about making the valentines too but the making the crayons took long enough. and my girls were tired enough just addressing over 70 valentines (well my preschool did half of hers, about 25)

    February 14th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

  5. Noreen says:

    My girls did get some candy but I must say most of them had nothing or a non candy attached, the fake tattoo being the most popluar. The other items were pencils, stickers and an eraser. Now they did get some candy but not too many and they have forgotten about it already as they want to snack on the toffee we made Daddy for his present today.

    February 14th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

  6. Nancy T. says:

    Tattoos and little hologram pictures were definitely in abundance this year for my first grader. We did the card that you stick a lollipop through, though if I had bought the Valentines instead of my husband, I might have also gone the non-candy route. Getting my son to write out the 20 cards was bad enough, I couldn’t imagine the torture of making 20 cards.

    February 14th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

  7. PAUL says:

    We, too, succumbed to the mass marketing of valentines. However, we did find some EXTREMELY cool ones at the local dollar store for our 7th grader…a flat envelope that you shake for 30 seconds, then either throw on the ground or hit with your fist (romantic, no?). A chemical reaction inside takes place, then an inflated balloon pops out of the envelope. The kids (and teachers) got a kick out of it – it became a neat science lesson as they children dissected it and tried to figure out what happened. Other than that, our Kindergartener had Littlest Pet Shop for the girls, Spongebob for the boys. I hang my head in shame.

    February 15th, 2010 at 9:30 am

  8. Allison says:

    My son entered preschool this year and this is the first year we have had to do the valentine thing. I helped my son make cards. It took trying three different craft projects before we got something that worked and my son was resistant to making them but we did it and in the end I think he enjoyed the process and the giving more because he made them. I’m hoping it will become easier in the years to come as this will be our normal pattern. I feel pretty strongly about making stuff instead of buying stuff and we try to do at least one handmade gift per person for other gift giving occasions. He has helped me make thank you cards and even gifts in the past but this was the first large scale card making session. The thought of including candy never really occurred to me.

    There were a few other handmade cards from his class but for the most part they were store bought and included candy. Fortunately he seemed to forget all about the candy by the time we got home in the evening.

    February 15th, 2010 at 10:35 am

  9. Jen says:

    Family Fun magazine’s website had great ideas for making your own valentines. My daughter is 4, so I printed up the color-your-own cards, and I let her cut them out, we glued them to some construction paper, and then she drew another picture on the construction paper. I thought they were wonderful!!!!!!! :-)

    February 20th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

  10. Elizabeth W. says:

    I refuse to buy valentines for kids to bring to school – that defeats the whole purpose of the holiday and makes it into Halloween with cards instead of costumes. If my kids wanted to spend their own hard earned money and buy valentines for their class, I would certainly let them do it, but they like making stuff anyways so I don’t see that happening any time soon. This year and last year we made EASY fun valentines by cutting a heart shape out of some fun page of my old magazines (lots of National Geographics from garage sales plus misc muscle car mags and others) and then gluing that onto a 1/4 sheet of construction paper. My 8yo did all the work on his himself and I cut out the hearts for my 4yo (a tricky shape) but he did the rest. The only part they hate is addressing all those valentines and you have to do that with commercial valentines anyways.

    February 23rd, 2010 at 4:09 pm

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