I think Valentine’s Day is a silly holiday, and I would like to go back in time and tell Geoffrey Chaucer* not to start the whole thing. It comes with too many expectations, too much romantic competitiveness, too much obligatory cheer.
But my children will have to make up their minds on the subject, and, well, Valentine’s Day at the preschool/elementary level is A Thing. I successfully dodged this Thing last year by scheduling a doctor’s appointment for the boys that morning and not taking them to school (it wasn’t their usual day of the week anyway), but this year Big Brother goes to school every day.
Obviously, I did not go out and buy printed cards for his preschool classmates. Rather, Big Brother and I spent an agreeable hour together making extremely simple construction paper doodads like this:The beauty of the design was that we could really work together. Big Brother worked extremely hard cutting out all 16 paper hearts while I cut the squares and wrote on the backs. Then we glued a few together; he got bored gluing and put on stickers while I glued the rest.
We already owned the paper, stickers, and glue stick, so the cost in new materials was $0. Priceless: Big Brother’s obvious pride in his hearts.
How do you work Valentine’s Day? Those with older kids, how have you negotiated the minefield of expectations?
*Geoffrey Chaucer’s piece The Parliament of Fowls, about amorous birds, is the first known reference to Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday.