Remember how exciting it was to pick which character you wanted on your valentines for the class party when you were a kid? How easy it must have been back then for parents to pop into the store, pick up the boxed Valentine's Day cards of their child's choice, fold them in half, and stuff them into those little white envelopes. What a time to be alive.
Now, thanks to Pinterest, lifestyle bloggers, and picture-perfect Instagram feeds, boxed Valentine's Day cards seem about as appealing as those chalky conversation hearts. I get it — Valentine's Day is full of fun colors, hearts, glitter... it's basically a crafter's dream. If I had the time to handcraft little cards for each of my kid's classmates, it would be an afternoon well spent. But, I don't have that kind of time (or energy, to be honest).
At the tender age of 18 months, my oldest daughter had her first class Valentine's Day party. I went to Target, picked up a box of Disney Princess cards, folded each one in half, and wrote her classmates names on each one. When she came home that afternoon, I suddenly felt very lazy, and not at all creative. Inside her take-home bag were little cards with cute, rhyming phrases and some kind of candy or snack attached to them. Meanwhile, those kids opened a "card" from my daughter which featured perforated edges and a picture of Rapunzel wishing them a happy Valentine's Day.
The thing is, that moment made me feel bad, not my daughter. She was thrilled to proudly hand out cards with her favorite characters to her little friends. Not to mention, she was a toddler, so she didn't even notice that her Valentine's Day cards looked different from her friends'.
The following year, I took her to Target and let her choose between the boxed cards or some of the crafty valentine options (the ones that come pre-packaged and include all the materials needed to craft a card). What do you know, those crafty cards had nothing on Anna and Elsa. So, we went the easy way once again.
To little kids, those boxed valentines are just as good as the handcrafted ones. If the cards make your kid smile, then who cares if you spent hours making them, or ten minutes? I'm sure if we were to ask our own mothers if there were kids who brought fancy cards to our class parties they'd sigh and tell us yes. But, all these years later, I don't remember those cards. I only remember the joy of walking down that red and pink aisle trying to decide which box of valentines to get. Hopefully, that's what my kids will remember when they're older, too.