Valentine's Day - Family Affair or Over-Celebration Nation?

Filed under: Opinions

valentineAfter every ad for flowers, chocolate and sweet romantic moments, my wonderful, tragically unromantic husband laughs boldly and whispers: "Sucka!"

He actually can be romantic, he just doesn't like to be told to be romantic. By Hallmark. So the only way I'm going to get to celebrate Valentine's Day is with my kids -- and that's just how I like it.

Now that our little Prince is 7 and the Princess is 4, the Year of the Valentine here. A search for cute ways to celebrate turned up a story about how, due to our overly kid-centric culture, V-day is widely considered less of a romance opportunity and more of a fun family affair, with moms baking heart-shaped pancakes and decorating the living room with pink paper chains and hearts rather than dressing up in a satin teddy or thinking up new ways to wow him. Hmm ... I do like pancakes.

But then one psychologist warns that turning this special holiday into a family event can rob couples of the potential for a deeply romantic night of tender bonding. Some moms also fear that turning Valentine's Day into a family celebration provides another opportunity for "celebration creep." The "Celebration Creep" is not a Chuck E. Cheese mascot, but the idea that if you celebrate everything, kids won't be able to tell what's worth celebrating.

I see their point, and I guess that could be the case if a family acts like Valentine's Day is a good reason to paint your whole house pink before flying your crew to Italy so they can learn a romance language. But truthfully, any anti-celebratory sentiment makes me a little sad. This is my Valentine's Day year with my kids. So stop raining on my pink parade!

This February 14th, will we be making Valentines? Yes. Heart-shaped pancakes? Maybe. Pink ponies?? Ah, no. And what I also won't be doing this year is making last minute reservations at a local place for a second-rate, overpriced prix-fixe meal, nor will I wait expectantly for a Tiffany blue box that isn't coming.

For us, family-style Valentine's Day is a happier, calmer way to add a little sweet-themed celebration to our lives. And my husband and I will surprise each other with romance on other, non-romance-prescribed days. We both like it better that way.

Do you think a family-fun Valentine's Day is a beautiful idea or just another example of "Over-Celebration Nation." and we should leave the love holiday to the grown-ups?

Sabrina Weill is editor of

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.