Ahh, yes, the “Hallmark holiday" of the year, Valentine’s Day, is here at last. The same day where some florists, restaurants and bakeries charge double for the same item sold on February 15th, when chocolate-covered strawberries are priced at a premium and when way too much sugar and candy is consumed in a short period of time.
How does a parent explain the meaning of Valentine’s Day to young children when the same parent doesn’t really believe in its importance?
Pre-kids, I used to expect a whole to-do from my boyfriend (now husband). Of course he’d send me long-stemmed roses and take me to dinner somewhere fancy, and maybe even surprise me with a gift, all because it was February 14th.
But as the years went on, our lives shifted from single kids living in the city to suburban parents with many other things to think and worry about than how to properly acknowledge Valentine’s Day.
This year, I’m keeping things simple at home. Cards, a few chocolate-covered strawberries and gifts, (only if you count two new packages of markers and some drawing paper as a “gifts”).
Mushy love notes, over-priced prix fixe dinner and jewelry – nope, not for us. I want to teach my kids that there is a lot of activity surrounding the day, but in our house, we focus on what matters most. “It’s a day that we make sure we tell our family and friends how much we love each other,” I told my 4-year-old daughter.
She isn’t quite old enough to understand the pomp and circumstance marketers create around Feb. 14th, but I want her to know that the few little things I’ll do for the family are in the name of love, not a date on the calendar. And when my kids are old enough to have their own money, I hope they will choose what they want to do to celebrate (or not) this day, in whatever way they wish.
Do you and your kids have a special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Tell us in the comments.