I've never been one of those people who despises Valentine's Day or the industry's profit from Valentine's Day. I think it is fun and, as most of you know, I'm always up for a party. And when I was little, I just loved getting those cheap little paper cards with cartoon characters telling me "You're Tops! Be My Valentine!" from everyone in my class. Of course, there were those days before I met my wonderful husband when I was always a little sad when the day would roll around and all my friends received sweet gestures and gifts from their boyfriends and I was left with having to be content with, well, nothing much as far as I can remember. Nonetheless, I have embraced the holiday and I just love that there is a designated day where a couple can be all ooey gooey about one another and not be lambasted for it. (You can hear the big "HOWEVER" coming up, right?)
However, my perspective has been altered now that I have children of my own and I have to put together those wicked little Valentine's Day cards for each of their classmates. Perhaps one set of cards wouldn't be too bad, but two sets is killing me. With my limited time in the evening after the kids go to bed, I've sat hunched over little valentines wedging markers and tattoos into the crudely constructed cards. And now that I have three beautiful children, I realize that I'm going to have to put together three sets next year. That is just ridiculous! And you know it isn't sufficient to just bring a little card with a tattoo or a pencil attached. Most little kids in the class bring a bag of goodies.
Plus, there are the teachers, parents, grandparents, and the kids that you have to buy for in addition to your loving spouse. So, how do you keep this under control? Well, first of all, I'm not buying for the grandparents. Sorry. Second, I refuse to purchase anything cheap for the teachers since most teachers are inundated with candles and lotion at every occasion. (I'm not sure what I'm going to do in the future, but this year I'm giving the teachers a bottle of Tylenol and hand sanitizer. I figure it is something they need and will use. I don't care if they think I'm strange. I know that is what I would want if I was surrounded by 20 precious but germy kids everyday.) Third, my kids are going to be packed full of candy by their friends so I'm just getting them a little tiny gift (read: cheap). And fourth, my spouse is receiving a nice enough gift from me, that I don't feel the need to duplicate efforts by getting a gift "from the kids".
With all that said, I still intend to live up Valentine's Day, act all ooey gooey with my spouse, kiss on my children all day long, and encourage them to celebrate such a fun occasion.