Writer’s Workshop: Class Valentine Party

February 12, 2014 · 41 comments

Post image for Writer’s Workshop: Class Valentine Party

5.) How is Valentine’s Day different for your kids than when you were a kid?

I miss walking down the aisles of a classroom to place packages of Conversation Hearts on my friends desk.

Who am I kidding, my friends got a card and maybe 3 individual Conversation Hearts if I was able to stuff them into the accompanying envelope. Pinterest didn’t exist back then, but I imagine if it did my Mother would have been busy taking photographs of us that gave the impression we were reaching through the card to hand our friends lollipops. Or maybe not. I can’t really picture my Mom getting that creative with our cards.

Because my class Valentine party wasn’t about her.

Or was it because she didn’t have a network of friends sharing creative ideas with her on social media?

I thought I was so clever pouncing on those dang friendship bracelets this year. What an ingenious gift! Affordable, cute, original. It’s simple and yet still a nod to our generation of Pinterest driven mothers. I’m a participant.

But after I posted about the friendship bracelets I ordered, I got an email notifying me that they had been shipped and would arrive from THAILAND a week AFTER Valentine’s Day. Because of course I ordered from Thailand.

I love Valentine’s Day, but I kind of hate that it’s turned me into a lady who’s running around to drugstores two days before Valentine’s Day trying to figure out what I can ADD to the cards my kids picked out. The cards that came with stickers and temporary tattoos.

This might sound crazy…but what if my kids go to school and only hand out the store bought cards they picked out? You know, like we used to do it in the olden days. Will my kids grow up wondering why I was the only mom who didn’t help them put together something spectacular and unique to hand out? Or will they be like “I can’t really picture her doing that because our Valentine’s party wasn’t about her!”

I don’t know that it’s such a big deal either way, but I do know one thing for sure. I’m going to have more friendship bracelets than I’ll know what to do with about a week from now.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) A memorable Valentine’s Day.
2.) A blog post inspired by the word: love
3.) 8 people/places/or things you’d like to give a virtual Valentine to.
4.) A Valentine inspired craft or recipe.
5.) How is Valentine’s Day different for your kids than when you were a kid?



Mama Kat Loves You When You Love Her



{ 39 comments }

Caroline February 13, 2014 at 3:58 am

I love you Mama Kat. I would love to get any old kind of Valentine from you. Thank you for hosting this weekly event. You really inspire my writing!

Kat February 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

One friendship bracelet coming your way!!

Adrienne February 13, 2014 at 4:02 am

It’s so odd how kids little lives continue to become more about their parents….we spent my kids’ elementary school years in France – where NONE of this stuff happens in schools. Someone on FB last night posted a pic of 30 hand crocheted snake bookmarks and 30 hand crocheted flower hair clips…excited that next year she’d only have one elementary school child. My jaw dropped. What??!! I didn’t even make it to all my kid’s soccer games. It’s an odd dynamic…and hard on the kids. I don’t think kids were meant to be so aware that who they are and what they do affects their parents’ reputation. As for the bracelets….blog giveaway??!!!

Kat February 13, 2014 at 8:04 am

It would be fascinating to compare how raising kids around holidays differs from country to country! And also how easy access to social media affects our parenting style. I think part of it MIGHT have something to do with comparing yourself to how you see other people doing it on FB etc… but honestly I think a large part of it is that these crafts being shared online DO look fun and easy to do! So why not!?! Except that I wonder if we then set the bar too high for ourselves and end up staying up all night crocheting bookmarks. It’s fascinating!

MJ February 13, 2014 at 4:19 am

Oh yes! I used to get store bought cards when I was a kid and that was ALL. One year one kid handed out suckers and it was such a departure that everyone talked about it for WEEKS.

Kat February 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

I think suckers would have been a huge hit in any of my classes growing up too, if anyone had ever thought of that!

Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice February 13, 2014 at 4:23 am

So happy V-day is low key around my kiddo’s school. Candy is the big deal here, and no one makes it from some beautiful pinterest page. We ran to Target, hit the valentine aisle, and he picked out some nasty fun dip valentines. He was thrilled. And I’ll end up tossing 95% of the junk candy he brings home…shhhh.

Kat February 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

That’s exactly what we did too! But only because my fancy friendship bracelets didn’t come in the mail! ;)

Marie at the Lazy W February 13, 2014 at 6:03 am

Ugh about the order coming after the big day. Whatever you send to school will be fab!

But I know what you mean. My girls and I used to spend hours and days handcrafting unique cards for every single classmate. And you have made me think all over again about Charlie Brown and those old fashioned Valentine boxes or mailboxes kids would craft. Back before it was mandatory that every child got a card. Oh the gamble!

Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

Kat February 13, 2014 at 9:24 am

Oh my gosh, if I had to wait on pins and needles to see if I received a Valentine in my mailbox I think I would have lost my mind. I’m glad they’ve made that a mandatory thing. :)

Tiffany February 13, 2014 at 6:23 am

Last night, as I was hot gluing Starbursts to valentines that I had made on the computer, I was wishing that kids still just passed out good old-fashioned valentines. And we haven’t even made the box yet. GRRRRR.

Kat February 13, 2014 at 9:26 am

It’s a double edged sword, because we see the crafts and think they’re adorable and we actually WANT to do it…and then we get halfway through and we’re like…what were THINKING?

carol February 13, 2014 at 7:19 am

Crazy how Valentine’s Day (and every other occasion) expectations are getting more and more out of hand. I have a granddaughter in Kindergarten this year. Last week the class was given the assignment to make a “box pet.” I went shopping with her and her mother while she went up and down the aisle’s of JoAnn picking out paper, wiggly eyes, etc., to cover her box into a “pet pig”. She was very excited about her choices. I watched her, with excitement on her face, craft her box in a “pig pet.” A little help from mother… mostly guidance and encouragement.

Well, the big day came when everyone brought their “box pets” to school to display. My daughter walked in and just about broke down in tears. Her 5 year old daughter’s pet pig looked small, impish, and so amateurish! All the other kid’s mother’s had made elaborate and professional looking box pets. My daughter felt defeated and could not believe what she saw! She thought this was suppose to be a 5 year old child’s project! Well, the biggest consolation came when the teacher told my granddaughter that her pet won! Because… she had done it herself!

My question… when did a kindergarten’s (or any other grade, for that matter) project become so important to the parent that it becomes their own? Parents should really stand back and think about what they are doing. Quite a dis-service to their children, I’d say!

Kat February 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

I have to agree with you. I think we get a little carried away when we see how easy these crafts can be online, when in reality…if it involves hot glue and precise measurements…it’s not easy. We shouldn’t be taking over those projects, they get so much pride and gratification when they do it all by themselves! And to be honest, I’m not going to keep a project in their memory box that required precise instructions and guidance from me…I’m more likely to keep the most imperfect little treasures they do all by themselves.

I’m SO glad to hear her little pig won the contest!

Jenn Rian February 13, 2014 at 7:23 am

Of course you ordered the bracelets from Thailand, hahaha! Now you’ll have to see if Pinterest has any craft ideas for an excessive amount of friendship bracelets!
I love Pinterest and all of the cute ideas, but when did school start ALLOWING Valentine’s to get so complicated? Just because we parents went nuts doesn’t mean the school has to go along with it. When I was a kid we put our name on a construction paper heart glued to a paper bag that was hung from the chalkboard ledge. We put a card in each bag and that was it, we weren’t even allowed to do more than that.

Kat February 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

Be on the lookout for a “how to create a scarf out of friendship bracelets” video, coming soon! I think the school’s are all on Pinterest just as much as we are. They see the new Valentine’s coming in and they’re like “yee haw! These are gorge!” I won’t be surprised if some of them start being a little more specific about what is okay to bring to school.

madamdreamweaver February 13, 2014 at 7:29 am

Fantastic photo!

Kat February 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

Thank you! It was from a couple of years ago. I miss that tiny boy!

Miriam Gomberg February 13, 2014 at 9:07 am

My kids knew better than to expect me to come up with something original for Valentine’s day. Both their birthdays are right before V-day so I always brought cute little cupcakes to school with hearts all over them to celebrate.

Funny, because my daughter Avery confessed she always thought her birthday fell on Valentine’s day because of the celebration surrounding her. It wasn’t until she was in 5th or 6th grade she found out that Feb 7 is actually one week before the big day. Oops

Kat February 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

That’s hilarious. She must have though she had the BEST parties ever in class!! My niece has a birthday that falls near 4th of July. She always thought the fireworks were for her. lol!

Sue - The Spin Cycle February 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

I don’t feel compelled to add a blasted thing to our store-bought valentines. I’m fine and dandy pinning away to my heart’s content and letting that satisfy my need to “create.” *air quotes*

Kat February 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

I like your style, “no I never MADE a fancy Valentine, but just look at all these ones I imagined someone else making!”

Store bought it is!

Tara February 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

My daughter (age 5) colored pictures and put the kids names on the Construction paper hearts I cut out this year. As for my son (almost 12, grade 6) he asked about Valentines and I replied that I was pretty sure at his age the kids stopped doing that sort of thing. It is crazy how extreme school things have become, there was a parent last year who would vounteer in the kids classroom constantly and came up with all kinds of time intensive projects.

Laurie February 13, 2014 at 10:27 am

What happened to the good old days when you just gave out cheap, random cards? Uh…those friendship bracelets sound really cool.

Jen E @ mommablogsalot February 13, 2014 at 11:34 am

Sometimes I think our generation takes parenting WAY too seriously – and not in the “let’s keep our kids safe and feed them vegetables” kind of way but in the need to pump every possible moment and memory into every occasion – we go ALL IN in a way that I don’t remember parents doing when I was a kid, probably because the internet has us all connected to a million great ideas 24/7. I think sometimes we need to give ourselves a break and say “store bought valentines are totally fine – we can freak out over a holiday next month instead maybe.”

Lisa @ The Meaning of Me February 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I agree – it’s ridiculously out of hand. Nothing like the days when we did, like you said, plain old little store bought cards and conversation hearts. We got a memo from Kidzilla’s teacher saying no worries about the Valentine box, that they were making them in school. I didn’t even know there WAS such a thing! She’s our first (and only) so we are in uncharted territory with all this stuff. My youngest sister is 30 this year so even her experiences are way too long ago to use as any kind of guide. I’d love to say I stick totally to my guns and don’t go crazy. But. When the kid comes home and sees what others do for birthdays, etc., and wants to be part of it all, where’s the line between “just be who you are and never mind them” and “let’s just make you the social outcast, shall we?” It’s hard. Really hard. I wish it were as simple as when we were kids.

Kate @ Mommy Monologues February 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Uh oh. My kid will only be handing out valentine’s with the stickers…. I don’t even think his have tattoos. lol I’m not that worried about it, I don’t even remember Valentine’s Day parties from school.

Jerralea February 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Save the bracelets for next year!

Then you will be all prepared ahead of time.

Michelle February 13, 2014 at 8:21 pm

My kids went to the store and picked out their favorite themed card, minus tattoos, stickers and suckers…pretty much the same as my childhood! It never occurred to me to do something fancier. My kids would bring home darling home made cards and I’d be impressed, but slightly flummoxed. Where did those Moms find the time? I could barely get my kids to scrawl their own name (not even a classmates, just their own) on a card. It was like tortuous homework!

Jessica February 13, 2014 at 11:19 pm

I had my son give out regular, store bought Valentines last year and then felt like a cheapskate when he came home with all sorts of things from his school friends (candy, stickers, pencils, etc.). I had no idea this was such a big thing, especially in preschool! This year, he made the cards (only because my mother did this with him) and we added stickers. Still cheap, maybe, but I refuse to give in to the commercialism. I am so Charlie Brown. :) The bracelets do sound cool, though.

Andrea February 14, 2014 at 6:05 am

You’re so right! I do the same thing – try to figure out what else to ADD TO the cards that are already a gift of a sticker. Candy is so easy.

Dude Mom February 14, 2014 at 6:19 am

Maybe it’s because we’re an all Dude house, but my kids really, really, really don’t care about V-day. They only take cards so they don’t look like jerks. Getting them to even write their names on them, let alone the names of their classmates is like pulling teeth. All they care about is giving me and their teachers chocolates. Nothing else.

Lydia February 14, 2014 at 6:35 am

I have these thoughts, too, as my daughter decides what she wants to do for Valentine’s. She chose to order some flying frogs and write, “Have a TOADally HOPpy Valentine’s Day.” I let her go at it herself, and they are attached to uneven pieces of cut up construction paper. I will admit that I kept thinking, “But this looks NOTHING like something on Pinterest,” but she was having fun. Trying to remember to be hands-off in moments like these!

Amethyst Moon February 14, 2014 at 7:22 am

I ordered from Thailand the other day without realizing it too!
I think still give out the bracelets because friends should know they are loved every day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day. or…you’ve shopped early for next year!

kelley February 14, 2014 at 10:04 am

you can always save them for next year. I have always loved Christmas but I am a Valentine scrooge. I mean I haven’t even got Christmas paid for by the time it rolls around. My kids had to make do with a card–and that was it. (maybe some conversation hearts to slip in the envelope). And if they didn’t have the energy to sign all 30 cards I didn’t do that for them either. Bah Humbug! kelley at the road goes ever ever on

May February 14, 2014 at 10:24 am

This is wise. So wise. It isn’t about us…or at least it should not be!

Kristen R. February 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm

It’s crazy that we are expected to add all sorts of bells and whistles to simple things. I blame pinterest for sure. And now that candy is being banned from schools, it makes it that much harder to come up with something clever.

Julie February 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Ha! We did the “holding the lollipop” Valentines this year…& then I felt guilty because most of the other moms sent their kids to school with organic candy & goldfish crackers. Sigh. What are you going to do?

http://letterstomylittlelove.blogspot.com/2014/02/our-valentines-2014.html?m=1

Margaret February 16, 2014 at 3:48 pm

One year I got to help make the Valentine Box for my fifth grade classroom – crepe paper, doilies, construction paper, that was it. We all had store bought valentine cards and we wrote our names in code on the backs. My ‘boyfriend” and I bought each other honest-to-goodness greeting cards from the drug store – what a commitment!!
My grandson arrived home from pre-school with more loot than from Halloween; his Valentine bag was as large as a shopping bag! He took small store bought cards for his little friends, but he MADE valentines for me and Granddad – self-adhesive foam shapes.

Previous post:

Next post: