Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day....really???

Sorting through the rubble of my email inbox, I realised that we have been inundated by Valentine's Day party offerings. Not counting the party my six year old had at her co-op this week, the running total is at five. Five!! For Valentine's Day?? Really? This far surpasses the Christmas parties or even Halloween celebrations. When did Valentine's Day turn into such a big deal?

As a child I remember Valentine's Day being barely a blip on my kid radar, but of course that was before nearly all children's valentines came with candy attached to them. From my mom we got boxes of little heart candies, nearly half of which were the inedible pink and white ones. I don't even think they made the small heart shaped boxes of chocolates that are everywhere now. Now however, at least judging from the festivities offered, Valentine's Day seems to be the center of the kid year.

I just don't really see the point in being forced to add to the debris of other people's homes. Does anyone do anything with the innumerable cards their children have received? Or do they just add to the guilt we always seem to have about throwing our kids things away, despite the fact that the impersonal message of Barbie or Spiderman means nothing to our children.

What flabbergasts me, is that these offerings are amongst the homeschooling crowd. More often than not, homeschoolers in general tend towards discouraging consumption and commercialization. But in this instance it seems huge numbers of people are suddenly okay with wasting paper and buying things unneeded. Is it just lingering residual guilt about the things our kids don't do because they aren't in school?? Or is this something that people really feel adds to the lives of our children? The one party in which we will participate- where the kids will be making Valentines- I am hoping that the idea of bringing donations for Project Safe takes root, and that some of the focus can be not on what we get, but on what we might give.

Does anyone else feel inundated with Valentine's Day Offerings or pressures??

(An interesting spellcheck aside--Superman is in my spellchecker, but not Spiderman....hmmmm)


  1. Commenting on two things at the same time. I don't know if I qualify as a homeschooling mom, since I have a todler, but he is at home and I teach him whatever I can. As to Valentines day,I don't remember it being such a big deal either. Maybe because we are truely just mostly at home and not into a group of some sort, but we have had no sign of valentine except for our visits to the store where we are inundated with hearts etc. I did buy one card from Joseph for his grandparents, and one for dadda. Now I am considering letting Joseph draw on one that I have for the neighbours as well... They'r wonderful people and we are in pretty close contact. hmmm... something to consider.

    Now... as to your previous post... you just KNEW I would have to say something about that, didn't I?
    One of the reasons that I love Austin is because her characters have small, predictable lives. Unlike the Princess Bride this is not a tale of 'true love and high adventure'. I guess I have the same reaction you have to Austin that I have to Bronte, a kind of "oh please, give me a break' reaction, but then to the drama of it all. True, there are tortured souls amongst us, but few resort to living on aticks or wandering endlessly around moors moaning about the past. (Not unless they need a good psychiater's help). We are too busy living our lives. I like the silly concerns of Mrs Dashwood about whether or not there is enough food in the household to put on a dinner special enough for the unexpected guests, as it mirrors my own worries about finding enough chairs to at least sit everyone comfortably when the ladies of the church committee arrived.
    I like the fact that finding a husband, as a means of settling down, finding a future, is such a pressing concern. I like the fact that it is not just 'pure romance' but that the idea of having a place in life, is part of the struggle. They might not be considered the greatest struggles, but they are the every day things of a group that is neither poor, nor rich.
    I doubt it would have to do with dresses and such as the books themselves have very few elaborate descriptions of dresses. A striped muslin her or a sprigged bonnet there, but more as part of what the women were busy with during their time, making over their clothes, or trying to educate themselves better through the avenues that were available to them.
    I like the fact that it is all so ordinary. At the same time as Elizabeth Bennet's 'big love story' with Darcy, there are a thousand others going on at the same time probably with the same foolish misunderstandings, that are only big and important to the people that live through it. The smallness of Austins world is what I love. It so reminds me of Tsjechov's plays. Especially his Cherry Orchard. (Or Cherry Garden, not sure how it's translated in English.)

  2. Corrects a sentence:
    I guess you have the same reaction you have to Austin that I have to Bronte, a kind of "oh please, give me a break' reaction, but then to the drama of it all.

  3. I don't recall any Valentine's day parties happening when I was a kid. How strange.

    I'll be in Arizona for Valentine's day. :) With my family. I don't usually celebrate it, but See's Chocolates is in the US and we don' have it in Canada so I might go get some of that, muahaha.

  4. I don't really like V day either. It's a Hallmark holiday if there ever was one.