Tuesday, February 12, 2013

valentine’s day

{I wrote this as an article for our MOMS Club newsletter, but decided to post it here, as well. don’t fall over because of the capitalization - like I said, it was originally written for another venue. see? I really DO know now to write correctly… I just choose not to most of the time!}

Every year, I’m surprised by all the anti-Valentine’s Day sentiment expressed by my single friends, on TV shows, movies, the radio, etc. Granted, I’m married, and don’t really have to worry about having “a Valentine”, but I don’t remember feeling that way, even when I was single. People seem to be under the impression that Valentine’s Day is a holiday that exists for the sole purpose of pointing out a single person’s aloneness. I find this really odd, and the last few years, I’ve started to wonder why.

We start kids out giving Valentines to each other in Preschool, helping the 3 year old, painstakingly print his name 12 times in a row across his Spiderman Valentines, and high-fiving after each one. In elementary school, it’s more important what kind of treats get taped onto your Valentines. Stickers, tattoos, Nerds, etc. So, why is it, that after elementary school, we stop considering Valentine’s Day a holiday to celebrate our friends and family (you know, the people that we LOVE), and decide that it’s become strictly a romantically involved couple’s holiday?

I think, the biggest reason I never felt that way, is because, as far back as I can remember, my mom gave me special Valentine’s treats and my dad brought flower or balloons for BOTH my mom and me. My mom had this special little tin bucket with hearts on the side, and a teddy bear on the lid. It was only about 3 or 4 inches tall, but every year, I knew what was inside it, and every year, I looked forward to Valentine’s Day because of it. Back when I was growing up, Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland, was almost an actual mall, with thriving stores, a movie theatre, and prowling teenagers. You know, a mall. Right in the middle, outside of the Pay & Save was a little, independent, hole-in-the-wall candy shop. They sold all sorts of fun delicacies including my absolute favorite, white chocolate stars. Just little star shaped drop candies, but they were wonderful. It was the only day out of the whole year that I got them, and in my mind, there was something magical about it. So it’s all tied up together for me: my dad and his rose, my mom, the tin bucket with the teddy bear on top filled to the top with magical white chocolate stars, and Valentine’s Day.

I tell you this excessively sweet story from my childhood, not to imply that you need to give your kids candy on Valentine’s Day. Obviously, there’s plenty of that to be found. But consider the precedent that MY parents set for me, by making a bold statement that this was a holiday for everyone to celebrate, and one with which to do something special for the people you love. How can you make Valentine’s Day special, not only for your spouse, but for your kids as well?


  1. I give my kids get one of those cheesey heart shaped boxes of candy for valentine's day each year. The chocolate is horrible, but they look forward to it every year and even save that silly box for a few months until I manage to get them to throw it out. So maybe they'll grow up to see it as a holiday for everyone to celebrate, too.

    1. i always wanted one of those! and, when i was teaching, i would save those boxes if i could get ahold of one and we'd do marble painting in them. cut a piece of construction paper to fit the inside of the box, throw some marbles in a couple different colors of paint, drop them onto the paper, put the lid on, and let the kids shake the heck out of it. they loved it.



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