Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Let's just start this by saying that I know a lot of you will not agree with my point of view here.  It doesn't mean either one of us are right or wrong.  We will have differences in opinion and that's all this is or will potentially be....

I am not a fan of Valentine's day.  the Zero Waste Home blog says it better than I have been able to articulate.  In addition to all of her points, it's a hassle.  It's a hassle for my house to produce 90+ valentines to pass out to "friends".  It's a hassle to receive 90+ valentines and have kids who hoard cards from "friends".  It's a hassle to implement my eat it as you get it candy policy when each child is getting 20+ pieces of candy to bring home.  Why don't they have the kids eat the candy at school, since that is where it is coming from?

Years ago, I asked a couple of our teachers, a bit too close to the actual celebration date, to consider alternatives to the individual valentines.  In pre-school and even kindergarten, the kids really aren't writing each friend's name.  And, if they are, it's excruciatingly slow going.  My alternative suggestion was for each child to bring in an 8.5x11" paper as a homemade valentine.  Then, each "friend" could sign the valentine.  They could be displayed in the class and then everyone could take theirs home and be done with it.  No candy, no valentines mailbox or bag or anything else needed.  I was told that people like the process of the individual cards and that they would encourage homemade, but that was about it.

How many valentines are actually homemade?  We color on an 8.5x11" paper and write our message.  It is the same for all friends.  I then scan the artwork and print it on post cards.  The older kids personalize them with each friend's name.  The younger ones say "to my friend".  I guess it's half-way homemade?  Before the Halloween candy went into the garbage for mis-behavior (see previous post for details) the kids decided to give each friend a piece of candy with their valentine.  In all of the swapping of cards and candy, I doubt their friends would know that the candy they received was purposely given to them.  Larger ones for certain people and so on.  It solved part of my "we have too much candy in the house" problem (before I threw it away).  I recognize that shifting my issue onto others isn't fair either.

Does this mean that when the kids and I clean out their hoards of stuff and I put the trinkets in the Halloween bucket that I'm transferring my problems to others?  I like to see it as reusing and preventing more candy or trinkets from being purchased and put into the mix of things we (or none of us) really don't need.  To be more like Zero Waste, we'd need to refuse and then have nothing to reuse.  I'm afraid we've been too long on the current path and I'd have a revolt or mutiny in my house.  But then again, I did eliminate the Halloween candy hoarding situation and shift gears there.  I guess I'll just keep trying to make mini-modifications and hope my kids outgrow some of the wasteful habits and holidays.

I feel like a Valentine's Day Scrooge.  Yes, I know it's a holiday about love.  Shouldn't love be every day?

1 comment:

  1. My eldest left the house on Valentine's saying, "happy commercial greeting card day Mom." The years between classroom card-o-rama and the place in life where you have a steady partner are pretty treacherous on V-day.