I’m not being too cynical about the Valentine’s Day celebration. I think it’s fine for people to celebrate love and affection with people they cherish. It’s the school celebrations that I’m having some problems with, especially the ones with the younger children. My younger son comes home with a name list of his Kindergarten school friends so they can have a “Valentine card exchange.” It can be viewed positively as an opportunity for the child to practice his printing as he writes the names of his friends and his own on twenty-odd cards. Half the time, however, the parents will print the names on behalf of their child because it’s going to be faster and neater.
Now, the plan is to have a card exchange activity. In reality, the teacher takes the Valentine cards that the children bring in to school on the day of the celebration, sorts and puts them in individual bags for the children, along with treats that some parents would bundle with the card. All the child knows is Mummy got Valentine cards for his friends, he brings them to school and he comes home from school with a paper bag full of Valentine cards and treats from his friends. The child doesn’t experience the pleasure of giving to his friends the cards he has personally picked and signed. The child doesn’t experience the pleasure of receiving a card personally from his friends. The child doesn’t get to practice good manners by saying, “Thank you.” for each card he receives! The treats detract attention from the cards too. At the end of the day Little Guy will probably just think Valentine’s Day is like Christmas because he got pencils and chocolates and other fun stuff from school. So like I said, it’s a waste of time.