Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a contrived holiday, kids seem to love it. And with six kids in my family, it has traditionally been a very busy holiday in my household. It’s a huge undertaking to oversee the completion of Valentine’s cards for all the school friends, neighborhood kids, and cousins. So, I have some pretty specific rules to help me survive it without turning the occasion into a “bloody valentine”.
- Keep it simple: What puts me over the edge is when the kids return home from school with gobs of Valentine’s Day stuff. Gone are the days of the simple card. My children now arrive home with bags of lollies, pencils, stickers, and even gift bags! Who had to go and raise the bar on this? Whoever you are – I’m officially boycotting.
- Card delivery system: Having your kid address each card to a specific child turns the process into a delivery nightmare. Instead, simply have them sign his or her name, and then every card can go to any friend. And please, if you’re going to send in cards – for goodness sake, send one in for every kid. No one wants to be left out on a special day.
- Keep the romance out of it: There is nothing more off-putting than seeing romance attached to children. I even get twitchy when I hear parents talking about their five-year-old son’s “girlfriend”. Keep the focus on friendship, not romantic love. And when it comes to picking out cards, we go either gender-neutral or I have my kiddos pick what they like based on their own interests, and that’s what everyone gets. Yes, girls can get Valentine’s cards with trucks on them.
- Get craft-astic: Kids love crafts related to special days – so, here’s a great chance to have some crafty fun (even for the un-crafty of us!) No need to completely destroy the house with art supplies. Simply stock up on some red construction paper, sparkles and a glue stick and let your little ones go wild. Before you know it, they’ll have created a beautiful homemade Valentine for a favorite teacher, coach or dance instructor.
- Don’t forget the allergy kids: I’m not sure how people get around the whole “don’t send food into school for other kids” thing on this day. It must drive allergy mamas crazy, unsure of what their kids might be ingesting. Even mamas who don’t want their kids overloaded on junk are guaranteed to have kids return home with sugar highs. My advice – don’t send in food treats. It’s just not necessary.
- What should mama do for her kiddos? Again, I follow my standard rule of keeping it simple. I write a little love letter and sneak it into their lunchboxes with a special treat. Because my kids don’t get adoring notes from me daily and aren’t bombarded with treats, this makes it special for them.
Remember, it’s only a Hallmark holiday – there’s no point in letting it cause stress. Undoubtedly, another Valentine’s Day will be survived and all that will be left to show for it is the scattering of cards and wrappers around the family room floor, a few sugar highs, and a cinnamon heart hangover.