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Valentine's Day– What's In a Card?

Do your kids give Valentine's Day cards to every child in the class? We have changed schools since last year and I don't remember what happened– maybe our daughter didn't send any cards? After all, she had only been in the country for a few months. But this year, there are 24 kids in her class and the rule is, if you give a card to anyone, you have to give to everyone. And since she's only been in this school for three weeks, I've been thinking about what exactly is the message.

On one hand, Valentine's Day is a celebration of love– and it's important for our kids to understand that there are many kinds of love. They know about romantic love, of course– they see it at home or on tv– even programs for preschool children romanticize relationships between parents. Shows like Max and Ruby show positive and very realistic sibling relationships, including fighting and loving acts between siblings. And many children's programs demonstrate care and love between friends, even when those friends aren't kids, or even bunnies. In the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick (a starfish) argue and fight, but always help each other out of their sticky underwater situations.

I am all in favor of a holiday which promotes demonstrating our love for others– and extends that love beyond romantic love. But sending a card to each of 23 kids in the class is daunting. I am not the crafty type, so making 23 cards is overwhelming to me. But buying 23 SpongeBob or Dora cards and then simply having my daughter sign her name and address each envelope seems like busy work. I understand that each child will be excited to receive so many cards. And I do get that it will cause hurt feelings to have some kids receive lots of cards, and others very few. Remember the  Charlie Brown cartoon where he's constantly checking the mailbox for a Valentine's card - and it's always empty and he is forlorn.

But isn't it natural for our children to have some friendships which are more meaningful than others? And to want to express that with a special card or message? I think it is. So we'll be making 23 cards for all the kids in the class, and then making a few extra-special cards for her really close friends.

By Liz SmithLiz has worked across the globe for many of the world's best known apparel brands, including Justice, Chico's, Victoria's Secret, and Hanes. She has worked closely with dozens of factories in more than 20 countries to ensure that production is of the highest standard. Liz has managed all aspects of garment production, from design through fabric development to sewing and merchandising - so she knows what it takes to make high-quality apparel. Liz is thrilled to share her knowledge about clothes to help discerning customers choose the finest products.