It seems hypocritical to say I don’t want my kids to have a lot of Christmas presents and that our family is big on being responsible with our finances and then tell you about how big we do Valentine’s Day stuff.
If you’re new here, I’m a paradox. Welcome. I hope to confuse you as much as I can.
That’s not helpful, but here’s why I love Valentine’s Day: I love being reminded to tell my people I love them. I don’t care if it’s a greeting card created holiday. I don’t care if you think it’s cheesy. I don’t care if you think it’s a waste of time. I really enjoy celebrating my kids, my friends, and, also, my husband. I don’t get too invested in the romantic part of the holiday, but making feel others feel loved and special is a major draw for me.
The celebrating starts at our house on February 7th. Seven days before the big day, the Valentine’s Day mailboxes arrive in the living room. We’ve been doing this long enough that we’re on our second set of boxes, the first set having met an untimely death due to poor construction. (We started this tradition in 2012, and I’ve written about it before, like in this post from February 2013).
You can pick up boxes like these pretty much anywhere. Target’s Dollar Spot always has them in February and Hobby Lobby and Michael’s have similar ones. Amazon has some too, but you’ll pay more than you would if you grabbed them at the store. The first set we had were decorated, but I’m not that interested in making them cute anymore. Each box has their first initial on it with a permanent marker and that’s as fancy as we’re getting in 2018.
As the week before Valentine’s Day approaches, I pick up small gifts (they have to be able to fit in the mailbox) to surprise the girls with. I could easily get carried away with this, so I’m very aware of how much I’m spending and how much I’m gathering so I don’t get out of hand. This year, the girls are getting cat coin purses, little burlap sacks with fun erasers, Chapstick, animal figurines, stickers, Post-It notes, pens, window clings, candy, and kitty squishies.
[The cat coin purse came from Walmart. I can’t find it online, but I’m linking to this horrifying one instead. The price is similar but I wouldn’t give it to your kids unless you want them to cry. The burlap sacks, erasers, animal figurines, and window clings came from the Target Dollar Spot. The Chapstick came from…I’m not telling you. If you don’t know where to get Chapstick, get out of here and don’t come back. The kitty squishies came from Amazon.]
I’ve spent about $24 total for all the junk. Post-It notes and some stuff, I already had in my office stash. If I decided to put Post-It notes and rolls of tape in those boxes every day my kids would be thrilled. I’m totally serious.
One thing I’m adding this year is small notes to the girls. Each day, I’ll write something I love about them on a piece of paper and slip it in with their present. Little gifts are fun, but I’m also working hard to make sure they know their hearts and the gifts God gave them are a blessings to me. I want to speak life into the good I see in them.
Part of the fun of these boxes is the girls don’t know when their goodies will arrive. Sometimes they’ll wake up and the mailbox arms (flags?) will be up, signalling they have a delivery. Other times, it won’t be until after school. This unpredictability is partly to keep them guessing and partly because when this started, I would occasionally forget to put a surprise in there before they woke up and so I made the rule that the treasures can arrive at any point. Because I make the rules.
On Valentine’s Day, the girls will wake up to donuts, new plates, fun shirts to wear to school, and, this year, kitty backpacks. Listen, 2018 is the year of the cat in the Graham house. I refuse to have a real cat, but I will completely support all the cute cat stuff desires. I am here for cat pictures. I am not here for cat hair or litter boxes.
[I’m super-pumped about this “feminist” t-shirt the girls are getting. Cute, inexpensive plates from the Target Dollar Shop, and these shiny small backpacks from Amazon. *Before you click on that link, I did NOT pay this price for the bags. I follow an Amazon deals Instagram account; this girl posts crazy flash deals and I bought the backpacks for around $6. Follow @mamalikesadeal so you can get $40 backpacks for $6 too.*]
When the girls head to school, they’re taking some pretty sweet llama, cat, and unicorn cards and treats to their friends. I really love the cutesy, DIY Valentine’s Day cards moms make for their kids’ parties. What I don’t love (or have) is the actual patience or time to do them. So I pay a little extra to have someone else do the hard work, and I’ll just take all the credit.
Harper is taking cat and llama themed mini play packs with a little card attached. I picked up the packets (containing coloring book, sticker, and set of crayons) at the Target Dollar Spot and also grabbed a couple boxes of their cards. Harper will sign the cards, I’ll staple the cards to the play packs, and we’ll call it a day.
For Ellie, I ordered unicorn poop from Amazon and we’re attaching unicorn and rainbow themed cards to the bags. The unicorn poop are just colored mini marshmallows but you know some third graders are going to lose their little minds when they see some poop in their Valentine’s Day boxes.
I can’t wait for Ellie to hand out poop. This will be my proudest parenting moment thus far.
Does this seem overboard for a made-up holiday? Probably. But this is my time to shine. I don’t know why I love this time of the year so much, maybe it’s because I need a distraction from the winter blues I tend to get right about now. Whatever the reason, I take full advantage of the madness as an excuse to cover the house in hearts, wear pink and red at the same time, and eat excessive amounts of gummy candy.
Visiting my archives, I realize I’ve been sharing the same over-excitement for Valentine’s Day for years. *pats self on back for being consistent* Here are some other Valentine’s Day-related posts I’ve written:
Writing love notes to my girlfriends
It’s okay, you’re allowed to like Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day mailboxes + gift ideas (my original Valentine’s Day gift post from 2013)
Vintage books: decorating for Valentine’s Day
You’ve Got Mail (the original DIY mailboxes from 2012)
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