I think we can all agree on one enormous plight facing our school systems: Valentine’s Day is getting of hand.
Every year school children exchange cards in a time-honored festival of love celebrated in classrooms nationwide.
In the 1980s we gave each other store bought cards, rarely addressed to the recipient and almost never with a legible signature. If you were lucky you got a handful of sweethearts, small heart-shaped candies that tasted like powdered antibiotics emblazoned with romantic expressions. We decorated shoeboxes and agonized over how many cards we received. The amount of time our parents spent planning our personal card to our classmates averaged 2-3 minutes. Times have changed.
Now you can expect your child to leave school with a Santa-sized sack filled with gifts. It’s supposed to be a small gesture to express affection, but it’s become an over the top craft competition. Does one need to spend hours researching packaging and designs on Pinterest for a Valentine’s Day card for kids who still don’t even know how to read? Now I need to scroll through Instagram hashtags to come up with a unique card and treat? Are you still a good parent if your printer doesn’t work? Will your child suffer if you can’t come up with a clever pun to accompany a personalized box of lemonheads or a chocolate bar?
“I’m a sucker for you” on high-end stationary with gourmet lollipops? “We are mint to be” with organic candies wrapped in cellophane with gold ribbon? “I dig you” with a beach shovel and bucket? “I ain’t lion when I say I love you” with a stuffed animal? What is happening?
Why can’t we all agree as parents to buy a basic card from CVS and call it a day? Is it a fair fight when some of us are handing out cards with a child’s headshot? Can we organize an intervention with the parents who give out reversible sequin pillows, teddy bears, and homemade rock candy? Can someone pull aside the parent who makes the fresh sugar cookies personalized with each child’s name in a heart and ask them to take it down a notch? They are ruining it for the rest of us!
My point is this; it must stop before it gets more out of hand.