Homemade Kid Valentines for Lazy Parents
So on Monday each of my kids has to go to school with 20 non-specific but signed valentines for their classmates.
I categorically can’t stand those pre-boxed things, just out of the sheer wastefulness and commercialism of it all. Plus, they never come in the right numbers, so we’d be throwing out nearly half of the 35-valentine boxes (or “saving them for next year,” during which 12 months they’d get lost and forgotten) and adding to the carbon-intensive licensed-character-serving waste of it all.
I know, I’m a total Scrooge. Valentine’s Day has been one of my least favorites forever, for reasons I have enumerated elsewhere. And now that I am happily significantly othered, it all seems like a big push for commercialized guilt…
So, in the interest of giving my children something to talk with their therapists about in 10-20 years, I’ve outlawed the prefab valentines and we are making our own. On the other hand, it’s being kind of fun.
We’ve done this two ways: last year they each drew one valentine card, with pictures and signature and all, and I took it to a color copier and made the required number of copies on pink or other color paper (4 to a page), and then we rolled them up like little scrolls and tied them with ribbon. They turned out really nicely, and there was no convenient Saturday before during which we could spend a morning pasting and sticking. That’s our “Valentine Party on a Friday” method.
This year we’re using a different technology-driven method. We are still doing the basic rectangle four to a page valentines, but each kid can decorate his or her card however they want with stickers or drawings or glued-on hearts and shapes or whatever. And then we used a Microsoft Office template (there are TONS of these) to create a unified label that will go on the back of each one. Each kid got to design their own, choosing what they want it to say, font and font color, borders, and little clip-art additions, and then we will print them out and stick them on the back of the valentines. Cuts down significantly on the workload…I wish I were the kind of mom who’d choose to sit down and indulge in Cool Valentine Crafts, but I’m just…not. Sigh.
So, I guess if we were REALLY green we’d make these entirely ourselves out of art materials we purchased at the secondhand store, but this is at least an improvement over buying them new…