Valentine’s Day : Christmas, The Revenge

nts Against Valentine's Day

Well, I have finally emerged from my post-Valentine’s Day hangover. Unfortunately, this hangover did not involve any champagne. No, instead I was reeling from the sugar rush of food color/HFCS laden candy and the shame of not-crafty motherhood. I ask you, when did Valentine’s Day morph from a day for disappointed lovers and smug flower receivers to a mini celebration for kids?

I know I am not alone in this sentiment. Uber mommy blogger and internet friend Jill of BabyRabies responded to the critics via her blog post It Goes Both Ways. And I get it, I totally do. Childhood is fun and only happens once. And while I don’t resent moms like Jill for their effort (side note: I do resent her for her mad writing skills and ability to look adorable at all times), I am tired of the massive celebration that every special day seems to entail.

Because my kids had just recovered from their Christmas sugar haze when February rolled around. It doesn’t help that their birthday is the week before Valentine’s Day. So with their birthday party, school celebrations, and dream trip they were feted for four straight days.

I knew they were getting a bit entitled when they woke up yesterday and demanded a present and a cupcake.

But who can blame them? After all, Valentine’s night found me not snuggled on the couch with my husband staring into his eyes while we sipped red wine. Instead, I was cleaning fun dip sugar off the floor while muttering to myself over indulgent parents and their love of mass produced candy. Don’t they know I am an aspiring hippie who only allows organic candy into my house? (Sarcasm alert)

Seriously though, can’t we dial it down a notch? Do our kids really need mini packages of gifts and candy taped to cards? Do they need the stickers, the tattoos, the endless amounts of Valentine candy? This morning as I sat on the bed eating fun-size candies and forlornly tooting a mini pink whistle, because of course it’s a four day weekend and the girls want nothing to do with me, I thought about the pumped up Valentine’s Day my girls had experienced. And thought: enough!

So I am pledging: next year there will be no goody bags, no presents, no balloons. Instead I will be happy with the store-bought fold-over valentines that my kids may have or may have not scribbled their name on. If they want to write their friends name on a heart and call it a day, I will be cool with that. I will not try and forge their name with crayons.

Now I just need to get the rest of you overachieving parents on board.

Comments

  1. As I sit here attempting to work right now all three of my kids are eating the worst candy ever created…the fun dip. I despise it and hate that my husband told them they could have it. I will sit next to you on the pledge for next year. We did store bought cards this year but somehow I ended up baking like a mad man for their school parties. Parties that were filled with so much disgusting candy.

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one that noticed the over-celebration. I was away on business with coworkers who were discussing the Pinterest tutorials they’d used to create their toddler’s Valentine’s Day cards. Toddlers who aren’t even in preschool let alone elementary school. And then I found out (because this is all-new to me, this foreign parenting stuff), that people send out Valentine’s for their baby’s first Valentine’s Day. I don’t even have kids, but the pressure and the expectation is almost too much to consider. When did simple decorated manilla envelopes, folded cartoon cards and a simple sucker become the underachieving result?

  3. I say good on you for next year :) Hey, if it’s not your bag, if you don’t want to celebrate, don’t! I happened to have some fun ideas and a little time this year (and a TV segment booked that required I come up with an idea or 5 that would make me feel like crap if I only did them for an audience and not my own children). But next year? Meh… I might just go the easy route, too. I went all our for Leyna’s 1st birthday. Her 2nd? Threw it together in 2 hours and invited nobody. It ebbs and flows, and I think parents are putting these expectations on themselves. Pinterest isn’t sending dictator-style memos to your schools, demanding crafty, over the top holidays from all. You’re only going to get caught up in a race with other parents if you lace up your shoes and jump in. So ignore! And drink wine from a patio somewhere ;)

    • I thought your post was particularly good on that (and yes it is totally the parents!) I actually enjoy the celebrations, it’s the emphasis on “stuff” (hello candy) that really bothers me. BTW, totally stealing that white paper crayon table idea for next year.

  4. Oh dude, don’t even get me started on the candy. HATING IT right now. That’s why we chose to send crayons, obviously, though I get some households have no need for anymore of those, either. We have a bucket we put all candy in after events like this, then Scott and I weed it out after the kids go to bed (we only eat some of it, I swear!). Or, like after Halloween, we let K trade it in for a toy he really wanted. But yeah, I am OVER all the candy. And hey! Here comes Easter!

    • Ack! Easter, I had forgotten all about it. My method is tell them they can eat as much as they want. In the frenzy most things get one bite before being tossed aside.

      As my kids get older I start thinking about expectations and what the status of their other classmates is too. I’ve actually been thinking about it since I wrote this and am planning a post about it tomorrow.

  5. Seriously, what’s up with all the candy?! I remember cards and possibly some conversation hearts that no one actually wanted to eat. It’s a little overdone these days.

  6. Kate – I completely agree with you. Maybe next Valentine’s Day will be the ‘only grandparents are able to give candy to my kids’ holiday and get back to the homemade card-making and do-kind-things-for-you holiday. Heavy sigh. Then there is Easter.

Speak Your Mind

*