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?