Author Topic: School Valentines Day norms  (Read 2184 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jaelle

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1491
School Valentines Day norms
« on: February 13, 2013, 11:42:41 AM »
For the record, we're in the Northeast United States. :)  I know children's celebrations for Valentines Day don't really happen other places.

This is slightly an etiquette question, but also just a questions about norms for other schools, so I chose to put it here.

When I was a child, we took our classmate Valentines into day on the day of the class party ... generally just the storebought, often cartoon character Valentines most stores sell this time of year. We'd come  home with our little mailbox that we made in school, stuffed with cards from our classmates, and have fun looking through them.

When DS1 was old enough that his class was doing a celebration, we let him pick out his cards and take them to school. He's in a special-ed classroom (and before that, a special-ed preschool), so perhaps his classes didn't have as elaborate a celebration as most of the rooms. I don't know. He did like making a mailbox and bringing home this cards.

Last year, DS2 went to preschool for the first time, a so-called "normal" preschool. For Valentines Day,  he happily picked out his cards, signed them and addressed them, and took them to school for the party. (I also sent in a tray of homemade heart cookies.)

He came home with a TON of other stuff. Every kid did cards, but most also brought in bags of candy or little plastic party-favor-type stuff. He got a bunch of loot, although most was the sort that is immediately lost or forgotten or confiscated. (Thank you, one parent, for sending home that very loud whistle.  ::))  DS2 seemed to be the only one who only took in cards. (Cookies not withstanding; they were for the class as a whole.)

DS1 also came home with a bunch of stuff, although not so much as DS2.

Is this how it is now?  ???  We have cards to write out tonight for the boys' classmates and I've been dithering about being some sort of favor-ish sort of thing to send in as well. But I know for a fact that I didn't really like getting all that carp home, so I don't really want to send more in with my kid. But I feel kind of ... well, cheap ... if he's the only child with only cards.

I can't send in cookies this year because the school has a strict no-sweets policy. Sigh.

Is this the norm in elementary schools these days? Am I OK just sending in the cards? What do your kids do?

“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7551
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 12:04:19 PM »
I don't have any kids, but I was stunned when I went Halloween shopping with my friend.  School holidays at her kids school is what you just described.  She wasn't happy spending money on little junk, but felt that was the norm nowadays.  Since my eyes were opened, I noticed stores like Walmart has bulk bags of cheap holiday themed stuff and I assume it's for students.  Stuff like pencils, craft kits, etc.

Unless it's a rule, send him with just the cards.  I doubt anybody will notice anyway.

siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8662
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 12:20:22 PM »
I don' t have kids, but I'd say you're safe with just cards. I'm guessing very few kids will remember who gave what, in the end, as it sounds like it all ends up in each child's mailbox.  If you really feel the need to get something, how about some cute pencils/erasers? those at least are useful.

Betelnut

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3700
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 12:20:31 PM »
I really don't care what the "norm" is since we will simply be doing cheap store bought cards for everyone.  But, as far as I can tell, the norm is that some people go all out and some people don't.  So pick your norm.

I was also handed a list of names for my daughter's daycare (Before and After care).  The list was for 35 kids.  Um, no.  We will not be doing cards for those kids too.
"And thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges." -- Feste, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

Native Texan, Marylander currently

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5070
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 12:27:55 PM »
When I was in elementary school (Midwest US, ~25 years ago) Valentine's Day was a pretty big deal at school--we always spent a lot of time doing crafts and coloring pages for it. On the day of the party kids would give out storebought valentines to their classmates--I think officially the rule was that you had to give them to everybody or nobody, but it wasn't really enforced, and a lot of kids didn't seem to bring any at all. For example, if there were 25 kids in my class, I might come home with 10 valentines, which were mostly from my friends. The teacher/room mothers would usually provide cupcakes and some candy and punch. Looking back it seems like we wasted a lot of time doing "silly" holiday stuff like that, but honestly as kids we really enjoyed it and looked forward to a change from the norm.

I wouldn't feel pressured to provide more than you feel comfortable with, especially if it's stuff you wouldn't want your child to receive. Just the cards should be fine if you want to do that. If you want to do something additional, maybe something like stickers, which are small and flat and can be tucked into the cards easily. rose red is right, probably in the end no one will notice who gave what, if there's such a glut.
~Lynn2000

2littlemonkeys

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3571
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 12:32:46 PM »
This has been the norm in my experience since my DD7 started preschool.  I never did go all out (some of her goody bags looked like something I'd do for a b-day party!)  This year they're bringing Valentines and one small packet of conversation hearts.  I was looking around for pencils/erasers/etc. but I never found anything that wasn't what I considered too expensive. 

The kids are going to get so much other stuff, I'm sure the other parents won't care if you only provide the cards.  I'm usually a little relieved when there isn't a ton of candy.

Betelnut

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3700
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 12:37:05 PM »
I just remembered something!

One of the box of cheap Valentine's Day cards for kids ($3.49 for 16) did include small erasers to put in with the card.  So I guess we will be handing out erasers to 16 of the kids along with the cards. 
"And thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges." -- Feste, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

Native Texan, Marylander currently

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2558
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 12:44:47 PM »
I like to do a little more. Glue the cheap card onto a paper heart, write and print out our own, etc. Generally my daughter brings home candy rather than flotsam, but this year she has several classmates with allergies and one who isn't allowed processed sugar. So I decided to give out rubber ducks so the kids who have to skip their goodies still get a little something.

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4332
    • My blog!
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 12:46:21 PM »
My kids are in a program that is doing a Valentine's Day exchange, and the paper with information said that the kids could bring in treats.  I'm not sure if that meant for snack or attached to the card.

I let my kids make their own cards out of construction paper.  The... rather pathetic things that they made were improved, I think, by the fact that I taped a tootsie roll to each card.  Next year I will supervise the construction of the valentines a bit better, but I have a baby and we're moving in two months so we're looking for a house and packing and all that.  But, so, I guess I contributed to the sugar overload, hopefully not excessively with the tootsie rolls.  :)  As for what they'll bring home, I should find out soon, as they'll be home any minute!

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6606
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 12:50:15 PM »
The kids have gotten a few goody bags for Valentine's day, but not from everyone.   

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6687
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 01:22:18 PM »
From what I'm hearing, Valentine's Day has gone over the top. 

When I was a child, there was the exchange of cartoon character valentines bought in packages.   Sometimes,  these would include small lollipops.  There were no individual mail boxes.  The cards were brought in the day or so before the actual holiday, deposited in the class mailbox  and distributed by the teacher at the end of Valentine's Day.

  The teacher or a parent would go through the class mailbox to make sure that each child received a card from every other child in the class. Several packages of children's valentines were kept on hand to make sure this would happen.    At the end of the school day milk and a plate of cookies were served.  Sometimes, the teacher would provide a little bag of 'conversation hearts' to the students with her valentines but that was it.

The idea was that competition was to be kept to a minimum and that no child should feel left out.  Back in the 1950s, no one cared if a child was the last to be picked for a game at recess but Valentine's Day was a time for everyone to be equally included. 

I've heard about things like the sale of roses in High School.  I realize it helps raise money for school activities but it just seems so wrong.       

afbluebelle

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5358
  • Saving the world one squirrelbot at a time
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 01:26:40 PM »


I've heard about things like the sale of roses in High School.  I realize it helps raise money for school activities but it just seems so wrong.       

Oh yeah, things can go horribly wrong with Candygrams and rose sales. In a misguided attempt to cheer a friend up, I started a tragic comedy of misunderstanding that lasted almost the entire school year (Homecoming instead of V-Day).
My inner (r-word) is having a field day with this one.
-Love is Evol: Christopher Titus-

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7551
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 01:31:22 PM »
I've heard about things like the sale of roses in High School.  I realize it helps raise money for school activities but it just seems so wrong.       

Thanks.  You've just brought back bad flashbacks ;) :P.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6359
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 02:02:47 PM »
My kids are now in HS but when in elementary, about half of the valentine cards they received would have something attached to them, mostly a piece of candy. But one year DS found some valentine day "disk shooters" he wanted to attach to his cards. I didn't think about the kids actually opening them up while still in class.  Oops. Those disks could really fly. I was really glad I was helping out with the class party so I could be the "bad" parent taking them all way from them.

Tierrainney

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 934
  • Where the swans winter
Re: School Valentines Day norms
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 02:09:41 PM »
yes, this is a trend that I have seen, too.

When I was a child, in elementary school, you brought Valentines for the whole class. Some would have a small piece of candy, most did not. I did not like Valentine's Day because my Mother refused to buy the cartoon Valentines that every one else handed out and I had to cut out hearts and glue and paste Valentines for the 30 children in my class, plus any friends I had in other classes that I wanted to give a Valentine. I was a little bit of a perfectionist and had to make each one unique and perfect. It never occurred to me that I could just cut a heart, slap on a sticker and write To and From, at least for the children in my class I wasn't particular friends. It wasn't as if anyone would Ooh and Aw over handmade Valentines by a fourth grader, at least not the other fourth graders.

I have 2 children in Elementary school. Every year so far they are told to make Valentines for their whole class (or not at all) Every year I have given the choice of making Valentines or buying the cartoon brand of their choice. This year older child chose cartoon that came with fake tattoos. Younger child not only wanted to make them, she started in December! I also told her that she could just take the heart and add a couple stickers and be done, mostly for the boys, as she doesn't like boys yet. She requested Valentine's Day candy to tape to each Valentine.

Every year they bring home an enormous bag of Valentine's Day treats, mostly candy that that collected from all the other children in their class.

When asked, they only remember the Valentines sent from their particular friends and don't notice or care whether or not any other Valentines have candy or treats.

So don't sent any attached treat if you don't want to. My experience is the kids don't care and the other parents may be relieved.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.