I don’t think the question of Valentines Day being an overly commercial “holiday” needs to debated. It’s true, it’s a Hallmark Holiday.
The cultural differences regarding Valentines Day for children in the UK and America are huge. Where I grew up and went to school (and I dare say 99% of other US schools) Valentines Day is a big celebration. We started our party at 1:30 and it lasted until the end of the school day. We made card boxes decorated in construction paper, hearts, and glitter. We passed out cards stuffed with chocolates and conversation hearts. We had a feast of cupcakes, rice Krispy treats, chocolate, and red kool-aid. Cards were made for our parents, grandparents, as well as paper flower bouquets. It was a special day, it reminded us that we were loved by our classmates, teachers, friends, and parents. It was a fun and exciting day and it helped break up the monotony of the white winter months.
In the UK, Valentines Day is for lovers, not children. Not much is done at school, I received a nice card (to mommy and daddy) from my 6 year old. My 8 year old found a card template on the internet, printed it, wrote it out, but didn’t get time to color it. My 4 year old said, “It’s Happy Bal-in-times Day!! I love you!” (insert kiss and hug). So the school made them aware of this day but didn’t buy into it. I sent cards and candybars for all the kids classes, 2 out of 3 passed them out. The one who forgot said sorry. Great.
Maybe it’s the American in me but I’d rather make a big fuss for the kids and forget about the lover part. (Well, maybe not forget him, but he knows he is loved.) In the times we live there is such a problem with bullying and parents being so busy, it’s important for the children to know that someone is thinking of them and loves them.
My mom, grandma, and aunt all sent packages full of cards and candy for the kids, so at least Valentines Day is alive in this American house.
Do you buy into Valentines Day? For your children, nieces, nephews, friends kids, your self, or partner?